Confused but Not Dazed

Father Dwight has counsel for discouraged Roman Catholics:

4. Regarding Pope Francis – Many conservative Catholics are troubled by Pope Francis. They think he is a textbook 1970s liberal. He’s not. Take time to understand his context and background from Argentina. Read this post to put things into perspective. Get to know the man and pray for him. It is ok to disagree with him and question his judgement. He’s not infallible all the time you know, but you can do so with an open heart and a desire to understand and be with him and learn from him. What’s the alternative? You set yourself up as the judge of the Holy Father? Hmmm. There’s not much mileage in that now is there?

Once upon a time the western church had councils because Rome had three popes.

Also, it’s a free country, right? So separated siblinghood is an alternative. But being Roman Catholic means you have to accept whatever the bishops do? Fr. Dwight might make sense in a pay-pray-obey environment. But the world of immigrant parishes is long gone. Root-root-root for the Fightin’ Irish.

5. Regarding Cafeteria Catholics – Are you maddened by so called “devout Catholics” who openly endorse same sex marriage, women priests and are “pro choice”? Join the club. They annoy me too. Are you also annoyed by the bishops and priests who take the same view? I’m with you. However, remember that the Catholic Church is universal. We’re not a sect where everyone agrees. We’re inclusive and that’s why we’re Catholic. The Church has always had dissidents, rebels and downright bad Catholics. Have you ever read the Old Testament or taken a close look at the twelve apostles? The saints and sinners are all in together. The weeds and the wheat, the goat and the sheep are mixed. Jesus will sort it out one day, and stop for a moment and ask yourself, are you a perfect saint yet? I’m not. I’m still learning and growing and repenting. So I guess we must offer the mercy (and benefit of the doubt) to others that we would wish to receive.

Isn’t the church supposed to stand for the truth? And if observers of Pope Francis need context to understand him and his unwillingness to do something about dissent and error in the church, has not Fr. Dwight entered the cafeteria of choosing what he wants to believe? Why does he get to have perspective on the church’s problems that Pope Francis doesn’t because of his Argentinian background?

6. Regarding You and the Church – I’ve heard some Catholics grumble that the church has let them down. But what did you expect of the church in the first place? The church is divine, but she is also human. The church is a work in progress, an ark of wounded warriors, a tribe of troubled pilgrims, a family of lost children looking and longing for home. When you see the church like this, instead of hoping that the church will be the instant answer to all your problems you will be more content. Our role in the church is to be faithful, prayerful, hard working and stable in our love for Christ and his people.

But Roman Catholicism was supposed to be an upgrade, better than Protestantism. Isn’t that why Fr. Dwight left fundamentalism for Anglicanism and then left Anglicanism for Rome? So shouldn’t the standards for the bearer of the truth, the only true church, be higher? If converts knew that Rome was going to be as incoherent and liberal as the PCUSA or the Church of England, why leave Tim Keller? Or is it that this is godly mess and Protestants only have ungodly messes (and of course, having ONE mess is better than having many).

7. Regarding Priorities – The main thing is to stay close to Jesus and Mary. How do you do this? The Catechism says we experience Christ in five specific ways: 1) in the Sacred Scriptures 2) in the person of the priest 3) in the person of the poor 4) in the fellowship of believers 5) in the Eucharist. I can guarantee you, if you make these five things your priorities, then you will have a solid, sure and secure relationship with Jesus Christ. These five meeting places of Christ assume that your life is bathed in prayer and that you have as your main priority being with Jesus and Mary in these ways. If you get this right the other worries fall away.

Jesus is good and having his Spirit is really good. Mary is good but she is not exactly going to save. But is Fr. Dwight suggesting we can have Mary or Jesus apart from the Bishop of Rome?

Lots of sorting to do. Sure would be nice to have a hierarchy to do this for the faithful.

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156 thoughts on “Confused but Not Dazed

  1. “So separated siblinghood is an alternative.”

    Naturopathy is an alternative to traditional medicine. You might still get better or avoid illness with such treatment, but I’m guessing you’d prefer sticking with the benefits and activities of a hospital and doctors and pharmacies.

    “Isn’t the church supposed to stand for the truth?”

    Yes. That doesn’t mean all of its members or leaders will stand up for it, either through active dissent, neglect and passivity, or ignorance.

    “But Roman Catholicism was supposed to be an upgrade, better than Protestantism”

    The RCC is no better than Protestantism in terms of being human and having sinners and “wounded warriors” in its ranks. The “upgrade” is not in that context. Isn’t Calvinism an upgrade over Arminianism? But don’t Calvinist churches have sinners like Arminian churches?

    “If converts knew that Rome was going to be as incoherent and liberal as the PCUSA or the Church of England, why leave Tim Keller?”

    Because Rome isn’t incoherent and liberal. The sacraments are still there. The liturgy is still there. Scripture is still there. Dogma is still there. The divine authority claimed by her and not by Keller and PCUSA and the CoE is still there.

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  2. “I suspect that if we were to actually drill down and take a survey, at best you’d have about as many people in Rome believing dogma as there are confessional Protestants.”

    So the dogma is on paper. And people believe it.
    That dogma is reflected in liturgies and sacraments. And people engage in those.
    Liberal doctrine is on paper in liberal churches such as PCUSA and ELCA. And people believe it.
    That doctrine is reflected in liturgies and services. And people engage in those.

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  3. James Young, Rome has boatloads more on paper than the PCUSA. And the PCUSA still as the Westminster Confession on the books.

    So you need to get over Protestant creedalism as your defense of Rome.

    Sheesh.

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  4. Darryl,

    I think the argument is, “Well PCUSA might have the Westminster Confession but it also has Document X about how good gay marriage is. Rome has liberals but they don’t have Document X yet.”

    So as long as the practice doesn’t get dogmatized on paper all is good. Apparently Lex orendi Lex credendi doesn’t apply anymore.

    The Roman apologists simply refuse to learn from mainline Protestantism. It took more than 150 years for liberalism in the second half of the nineteenth century to morph into institutionalized heresy. Vatican 2 was only 50 years ago.

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  5. “… He’s not infallible all the time you know, but you can do so with an open heart and a desire to understand and be with him and learn from him. What’s the alternative? You set yourself up as the judge of the Holy Father? Hmmm. There’s not much mileage in that now is there? …”

    Dennis Prager posted an article about the recent murder of the two French priests by Islamic “extremists” and the pope’s response to questions about it: http://www.dennisprager.com/pope-francis-and-the-decline-of-the-west/

    No, I don’t set myself up as a judge of the pope (and I don’t consider him the “holy father”). But I do agree with Prager and question the theology as well as the politics of a man who considers the murderous acts of a radical religious group simply the result of poverty. One the one hand, he says, “who am I to judge.” OTOH he waves off terrorists simply under the guise of economic inequity. Isn’t that judging everyone else. And as Prager points out, most of these terrorists are not from among the poor.

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  6. Darryl,

    Boniface says the following:
    “Speculating about papabile or the “next moves” of Francis or whatever…I don’t care.
    Well, I mean, I do care in the objective sense – but its too much, I’m too busy, and honestly, none of this stuff concerns my faith in any substantial manner. Some people are terribly scandalized by all of it; some I know have gone over to Sedevacantism or converted to Orthodoxy. I don’t know…it doesn’t really bother me in a sense that touches on my faith. Perhaps I am too much a student of Church history to be deceived into thinking any higher of the Church’s human element than it merits. How would you feel if you were alive in the 10th century and witnessed Pope John XII offering a toast to the devil? Or witnessed the Cadaver Synod? Yeah, it sucks. I know. But my faith was never in the human perfection of the Roman Pontiff anyway…. I am a Catholic; I love the papacy. In fact, it was the study of the Petrine Primacy that led me back to the Church fourteen years ago. But never has a papacy been so irrelevant to my faith as this one. I have enough to worry about in my own spiritual life.”

    So a liberal pope doesn’t entail the church is liberal and incoherent for him.

    “Conservatives tend to take the misguided position that merely speaking the truth is sufficient. That, in the face of the liberal onslaught, it is enough to calmly reaffirm the Church’s constant teaching, perhaps in the naive confidence that the truth will always win out in the free marketplace of ideas. Are the liberals ramming through a heterodox praxis? Publish an article on the Church’s real teaching. Are they dominating the procedures of a meeting to get their people on the right committees and drive their agenda? Give a talk. Just speak the truth. Hand out copies of a book.”

    So he contrasts the “liberal onslaught” with the “Church”; the church itself is not liberal.

    “What could conservative bishops do, or have done, that they have not?”

    A list of suggestions follows – none of which says “create your own church or leave for a sede or EO church since the RCC is liberal”.

    “Once again, the heroes of the Synod were the Africans, although we should also note the heroic stance of the Polish Episcopal conference, who were inflamed by the memory of John Paul II and fidelity to Familiaris Consortio. God bless Bishop Stanisław Gądecki.”

    So the church still has resistance in its leadership to the “liberal onslaught”.

    “It is like if your own local goofy, quirky, liberal parish priest became pope”

    If a church is already liberal, why qualify a parish priest as a quirky liberal? It would be assumed.

    “Years ago, when I was a Director of Religious Education, I had a certain young man come into my RCIA program who had a pretty amazing journey to the Catholic Faith.”

    Boniface works for people to come into the church. So he doesn’t view the church as inherently liberal.

    “t seems to me that there are certain dogmas or declarations of the Catholic Church that some in the Magisterium wish they could forget about… I think many in the Church would like to get rid of these declarations, if they could… Obviously and thankfully, these declarations cannot be gotten rid of. They can be ignored and wished away, but they will not go away. Definitive, infallible ex cathedra statements remain for all time and are irreformable of their very nature. No matter how much any bishop or cardinal would like to contradict or get rid of these dogmatic heirlooms, they cannot.”

    “Many in the church” contrasted with the church itself.

    “PCUSA still as the Westminster Confession on the books.”

    Yes and the PCUSA also has liberal doctrine on the books – http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/ga221/ga221-marriage/

    Robert,

    “So as long as the practice doesn’t get dogmatized on paper all is good.”

    Priests aren’t practicing officiating sacramental SSMs. Swanson isn’t being disciplined – I don’t therefore hold his beliefs as reflective of official OPC teaching.

    “Lex orendi Lex credendi doesn’t apply anymore.”

    Sure it does – which is why I brought up the liturgy and sacraments as reflective of dogma and showing people believe dogma and it’s not just on paper.

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  7. James Young, oh pshaw on the books. That’s just — wait for it — pastoral application.

    And you agree with Boniface that conservatives are losing?

    Now, for some, this fact gives comfort. “Don’t worry! The Church won’t approve female deacons. It can’t. There is no historical precedent.” Well…okay. Not having historical precedent didn’t stop Mass facing the people or a host of other novelties…but whatever.

    The real thing that bugs me is its like some people can’t fathom that there are more sides to the problem than whether or not the Church will allow female deacons. Like, for some people, it’s either the Church allows female deacons (lose) or she doesn’t (win). Since we know the Church can’t ultimately ordain female deacons, we know she won’t; ergo, tradition “wins.” Ergo, there is absolutely nothing to worry about, no cause for alarm, nothing to see here folks, move along, 12 things to know and share, blah, blah blah…

    Look, the fact that the Church cannot ultimately ordain women deacons does not mean we “win.” Simply because there are many other ways we can “lose” without getting to the actual ordination of female deacons.

    Then why do you say that nothing the church does can keep the church from winning? And I thought Calvinists were a tad over determined.

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  8. Darryl,

    Boniface and I make the same claims. Dogma cannot change or be nullified. Dissent, sin, ignorance, laxity, neglect exists within the church and its hierarchy. The church “wins” in the former sense. The church “loses” in the latter sense with “many other ways”. Widespread liberalism Boniface laments since Vat2 (“losing”) does not entail the church is actually liberal (“winning”), as his statements above demonstrate.
    Thus he continues his quest to defend the “goodness, truth, and beauty of catholicism” without becoming a sede or some novus ordo hater.

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  9. James Young, except Boniface knows the church is in decline. You seem to think the church hasn’t changed. And converts! They think they signed on with the Yankees.

    I think you’re a convert. You can’t admit you overestimated your ability to pick a winner.

    You can come back to the gospel any time. No reason to put up with praying to Mary or Popes praying with Hindus.

    Plus, have you ever wondered how the church could be so right and yet so unable to eliminate error? Heck, what if claims of papal infallibility were — wait for it — self-serving? Gives a whole new meaning to your swooning.

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  10. Cletus,

    And that’s the thing. There really seems to be no recognition on the part of RC apologists that Rome is in real trouble. Has the church endured worse before? In some ways that is debatable.

    I get it. If the only important dogma is the visible church as the continuing incarnation, then you kind of have to close your eyes and not worry that despite liberalism infecting the bishopric, all will be okay in the end. But what if Christ’s promises to the church are first to the invisible church and only secondarily to the visible church?

    And it’s still not clear to me how you would even know when Rome has gone off the rails. But that’s another discussion.

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  11. 5. Regarding Cafeteria Catholics

    really time to get the word out, all the way around – only One’s* ‘worldview’ counts, in the end
    [*our Creator – Father/Jesus/Spirit (reminder:not Father/co-redeemersJesus’nMary/Spirit]

    “Roughly six-in-ten Catholics (58%) now support same-sex marriage, as do nearly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (64%).Support for same-sex marriage among black Protestants and white evangelical Protestants remains lower than it is among other religious groups. Both groups, however, have become somewhat more accepting of same-sex marriage over the last decade.” http://www.pewforum.org/2016/05/12/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/

    “Catholics who say abortion should be legal in most cases – 48%; Mainline Protestant -62%; Evangelical- 33%” Pewforum-2009/01/15/abortion-views-by-religious-affiliation/

    Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

    22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire**; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.**

    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

    **Greg, for you– keep on it 🙂

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  12. Darryl,

    “Boniface knows the church is in decline. You seem to think the church hasn’t changed.”

    The church hasn’t changed in some respects. It has changed in others. Boniface acknowledges the church has problems right now (when has it not?). So do I. That doesn’t mean he can’t argue like he does in the following – notice all the yankees and superiority and winning talk intermixed with acknowledging problems:

    “theologians speak of an implicit profession that occurs whenever a believer professes to believe whatever the Holy Catholic Church proposes for belief, whether or not he understands that teaching. Note, by the way, that no Protestant sect can ever claim or profess this sort of unity since it presupposes the existence of an authoritative teacher, which no Protestant sect can claim. Implicit profession in the objects of faith is possible only in the Catholic Church.”

    “We have not addressed the real problem, which is how the Church can claim a real supernatural oneness in faith, worship and government when filled with those (according to some studies, a majority) who actively dissent from the Church’s teaching and can in no way be said to be uneducated or sincerely misinformed. Do the presence of these barnacles on the Barque of Peter deprive the Church of her supernatural unity?”

    “we introduced the “problem” of Catholic unity; namely, how can the Catholic Church claim a oneness and supernatural unity substantially superior and different from the vague unity claimed by Protestant sects when a large number of contemporary Catholics are either ignorant of the Church’s teachings or else actively dissent from them? ”

    “Thus, the unity of the Church is not ultimately threatened when theology professors dissent or when whole parishes adopt liberal positions. For the unity to be broken, there would have to be a massive invalidation of Apostolic Succession universally, such as the Sedevecantists posit, combined with a massive disruption or schism across most dioceses in the world and a breaking up of the Church’s common profession of Faith… Most Bishops have no positive intention of breaking from Rome, apostolic succession is not in danger, the sacraments are still celebrated all over the globe and the profession of the Faith (at least publicly) is still generally intact, although it is watered down in some places. Therefore, the dissent of some, even many, does not destroy the Church’s oneness – and because Protestants lack apostolic succession, valid sacraments or one common profession, this argument cannot be used to support their claims to a vague spiritual unity.”

    “Thus, the Church encompasses all the Faithful who have ever lived, both those who have gone on before and those upon the earth at this moment. The Church always has one foot on earth and one in heaven. As such, it can never be bound to the fortunes of just one era upon earth because at any given time the majority of the Church is not on earth but in Purgatory and Heaven, where their union to God is much more perfected that it is for us… Looking at the Church from the light of eternity, these problems about a vocal group dissenting, even a very large group, do not seem so formidable. Please notice that no Protestant sect can make this claim about the unity of their own church, denomination or loose association of churches. For them, who deny any communication in spiritual goods between those in heaven and those on earth, the church really is only that which on earth; the church is bound to the fate of this present generation, and as this generation goes, so goes the Protestant church. Thus they can make no argument for unity based on a church existing in multiple states outside of time.”

    “we can still see a powerful argument for the persistence of the Church’s unity in the face of the dissent and defection of some of its members: Because the Church professes to also be Apostolic and a historical Church with roots firmly planted in Tradition, the Catholic Church’s unity therefore does not stand or fall with any one generation. There may be much dissent at the moment, but given the hundreds of generations of Catholics who lived and died vehemently attached to the unity of the Faith, it becomes a drop in the bucket. The fact that the generation of St. Athanasius was largely Arian and that the mid-4th century was marked by schism and crisis did not undermine the overall historical unity of the Church; the 4th century dissenters did not destroy it, nor will those of the 21st century. The Church is founded on a certain deposit of Faith, it has guarded and preserved this deposit, and no matter what is going on now, we know from Divine Revelation how this story ends – we know that we totally and unambiguously win in the end.”

    “Therefore, knowing that the Faith began in a unified integrity, by and large has been transmitted in integrity, and that this Faith will eventually win and triumph in the end – that from beginning to end we have the knowledge and promise of unity and integrity – how can we worry that the failings of a single generation will jeopardize that unity? If we look at this generation against the backdrop of hundreds of better generations, we realize, again, that this present crisis is not as big as it seems to us. The sun is setting on this earth, and a setting sun casts long shadows, shadows that seem colder and deeper than the realities they reflect.”

    “We could close with some words from Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis in which that venerable pontiff reminds us that the Church exists as both a supernatural and a natural reality, and that to the extent that there are wounds to her holiness or unity by bad bishops or sinful men, it is not due to the nature of the Church itself, but to sinful tendencies of human nature. Just as a desire for sanctity and a pull towards sin exist in us, so do forces rending unity coexist with the forces compelling unity within the Church. Just as these trials becomes tests of our virtue, so the trials of the Church are tests for her. Furthermore, just as our own souls shall be purified of our own weaknesses when we are glorified, so also shall the Church herself be divested of these human failings on that day when she is presented as a spotless Bride to Christ:
    ‘And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the Shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary grace through which with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded.'”

    “Even when lay theologians and bishops dissent, even when whole dioceses fall into darkness, though it may wound unity, it can never destroy it so long as apostolic succession is maintained, the episcopate of the world remains in canonical union with Rome, and valid sacraments are being administered – furthermore, taking into account the how the disorders of the present age are outweighed by the faithful witness of hundreds of other generations, and how at the end of things, the vast majority of the Church already exists in perfect unity with Christ in the Beatific Vision, we can see that the presence of dissenters and scoffers within the Church is ultimately no threat to her unity.”

    Boniface ain’t doing you any favors.

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  13. James Young, except Boniface isn’t quoting any popes after Vatican II. So he’s hardly backing your “it’s-always-been-rough” line. In what ways has the church changed? Why not come clean about this being a worse time than the nineteenth century when popes actually tried to get rid of roughness.

    And if winning is so automatic, if nothing can stop the Roman Catholic bus, why did the church ever need to assert unity, apostolic succession, provide a liturgy, or establish the sacraments. It’s all so automatic. So just sit back. Forget about Old Life. It’ll be okay.

    Like I say, you are a worse predestinarian than a Calvinist.

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  14. Ali, “Roughly six-in-ten Catholics (58%) now support same-sex marriage”

    And what do the successors to the apostles do to save these people from their mortal sins? Shrug? No wonder James Young shrugs. It’s part of RCIA.

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  15. D.G. Hart:
    And converts! They think they signed on with the Yankees.>>>>

    You are protesting too much, Brother Hart. Why are you obsessed with a Church that in your view is hopelessly lost?

    You remind of me of my atheist uncle, Garnet who couldn’t stop talking about God. Whom are you trying to convince?

    You can’t stop talking about the Home you claim is not Home. You can’t stop thinking about the One, Holy, Apostolic, and Catholic Church. Do you ever wonder why that is?
    ———————————————–
    Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us in professing faith in Christ, our head, but are yet divided from the unity of his body. My friends, we must grieve over these as over our brothers. Whether they like it or not, they are our brothers; and they will only cease to be so when they no longer say our Father.
    The prophet refers to some men saying: When they say to you: You are not our brothers, you are to tell them: You are our brothers. Consider whom he intended by these words. Were they the pagans? Hardly; for nowhere either in Scripture or in our traditional manner of speaking do we find them called our brothers. Nor could it refer to the Jews, who did not belive in Christ. Read Saint Paul and you will see that when he speaks of “brothers,” without any qualification, he refers always to Christians. For example, he says: Why do you judge your brother or why do you despise your brother? And again: You perform iniquity and commit fraud, and this against your brothers.
    Those then who tell us: You are not our brothers, are saying that we are pagans. That is why they want to baptize us again, claiming that we do not have what they can give. Hence their error of denying that we are their brothers. Why then did the prophet tell us: Say to them: You are our brothers? It is because we acknowledge in them that which we do not repeat. By not recognizing our baptism, they deny that we are their brothers; on the other hand, when we do not repeat their baptism but acknowledge it to be our own, we are saying to them: You are our brothers.
    I they say, “Why do you seek us? What do you want of us?” we should reply: You are our brothers. They may say, “Leave us alone. We have nothing to do with you.” But we have everything to do with you, for we are one in our belief in Christ; and so we should be in one body, under one head.

    “You Are Our Brothers”
    .
    by Augustine of Hippo (185-254 AD)

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  16. Hi Darryl,

    You said to Cletus:
    “And if winning is so automatic, if nothing can stop the Roman Catholic bus, why did the church ever need to assert unity, apostolic succession, provide a liturgy, or establish the sacraments. It’s all so automatic. So just sit back. Forget about Old Life. It’ll be okay.”

    The church doesn’t simply assert. There exists apostolic succession or there doesn’t. If there is a church now , there was a church then and that entails it was begun by Jesus regardless of the sins of its members.
    Apostolic succession can’t be predicated of Protestantism in the same way it is of the Catholic Church.
    And I thought that all of the documents from Vatican II were a voice in opposition to European secularism or a voice speaking hope to an unwanted agnosticism/ atheism because of a growing secularism that was ,and is,trying to prevail against the one apostolic church. What do you find objectionable or out of sync with earlier dogma?

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  17. Susan,

    Apostolic succession can’t be predicated of Protestantism in the same way it is of the Catholic Church.

    Both the Anglicans and the Lutherans claim Apostolic succession.

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  18. Susan, Syllabus of Errors (1864) said no to the modern world.

    Second Vatican Council said yes.

    Aggiornamento means updating, bringing up to date. However appropriate this might be for a commercial or industrial establishment, it hardly seems to me to be an obligation imposed upon the Church of Christ. It is part of the vocation of the Church of Christ not to be forever adapting itself to the changing times, but to stand firm and resolute for the eternal truth about God, man, and the world over against the endlessly shifting panorama of intellectual fashion and social interest. Over against? Yes, over against! It is for the Church, while receiving truth from whatever source it may come to take a stand against the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age — not just against this or that spirit of the age, but against every possible spirit of the age devised by man in history. . . (Will Herberg, “Open Season on the Church?”, National Review, May 4, 1965)

    You need to read more than the Roman Catholic answer websites.

    Then THINK.

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  19. DG Hart says Ali, “Roughly six-in-ten Catholics (58%) now support same-sex marriage”And what do the successors to the apostles do to save these people from their mortal sins? Shrug? No wonder James Young shrugs. It’s part of RCIA.

    I know, but did you see that many everywhere are ‘shrugging’ ,
    ‘as do nearly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (64%) [support same-sex marriage] and Mainline Protestant -62%; Evangelical- 33% support abortion in most cases’

    But yes- Jesus said- Jude 1: 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. – along with warnings in nearly every bible book, but I don’t recall Him telling us about the solution of ‘apostolic succession’

    re :those Jude verses and Cletus saying “the unity of the Church is not ultimately threatened when theology professors dissent or when whole parishes adopt liberal positions….the dissent of some, even many, does not destroy the Church’s oneness ….
    I appreciate this teaching:

    “The church is very much like our nation, it likes its openness, it likes its tolerance, it likes its freedom, it likes its acceptance. And it does not have the will and it does not have the inclination to stop spiritual terrorists where they have to be stopped at its borders. We don’t want to do spiritual profiling. We don’t want to really identify those who terrorize the church. Racial profiling as a nation, we think is politically incorrect and spiritual profiling is viewed in the church as spiritually incorrect. Who are we, we think, to sit in judgment on anybody? And so we don’t stop terrorists at the border. They’re in our churches, we’re talking now about spiritual terrorists, they’re in our seminaries. In fact, in many cases they’ve taken over churches, denominations and seminaries all together. They are in our Christian colleges so that many of our Christian colleges could not longer be defined as Christian. Their books are in our Christian bookstores and in our Christian libraries. And these spiritual terrorists are planning the destruction of the church and really we’re not doing anything to restrain them or expose them. They operate freely in an undiscerning, gullible, tolerant church environment. And frankly, Jude is written to awaken us to the reality of their presence.” http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/65-14/survival-strategy-for-apostate-times-part-3

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  20. Good Morning Robert,
    Both the Anglicans and the Lutherans claim Apostolic succession.

    Yes I know, but what does it mean in those cases. They don’t share the same deposit, and neither are under the See of St. Peter any longer. They were, but are not any longer since they both stepped away at a point in history.
    So apostolic succession means ordination by a bishop that in communion with St. Peter’s chair. And to stay in communion they have to not only confess the creed but all doctrines that were passed down from the apostles, but that doesn’t mean that everything was written down. Judaism was passed by oral tradition, and what it possessed sufficient for us to understand how God saves,was written down( I can’t say all was written down since I don’t know if there were additional accounts of God’s interaction with his people) eventually, and was realized in the coming of the Christ. So since the founding of the new covenant in the blood of the God-man the continuation of the true faith does not consist of scripture alone. Though it is was inspired and is without error and we have to accept it as being of divine origin on the testimony of the Church. Well, that brings to mind the question ” what church” has always possessed sacred scripture and understood it to be of divine origin? Also, what church gave the analogy of the four gospels being four pillars of the one church?
    You get the gist.

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  21. Darryl,

    “You need to read more than the Roman Catholic answer websites.”

    Excuse me, but I read Vatican II documents.
    Where did you lift that excerpt? Modernism infiltrated the Church. The enemy is not limited to the outside, it’s also on the inside. So it’s smart to be armed with doctrinal truths so that we can stay with what the Church officially teaches, so that we can be of the Church when it reaches the shore.

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  22. Susan, if modernism can infiltrate the church, how do you know it’s doctrinal truths are true? No fair you, you rational autonomous self, you, determining what’s true. That’s why you have the papacy.

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  23. Darryl,

    “So he’s hardly backing your “it’s-always-been-rough” line.”

    You must’ve missed “The fact that the generation of St. Athanasius was largely Arian and that the mid-4th century was marked by schism and crisis did not undermine the overall historical unity of the Church; the 4th century dissenters did not destroy it, nor will those of the 21st century. The Church is founded on a certain deposit of Faith, it has guarded and preserved this deposit, and no matter what is going on now, we know from Divine Revelation how this story ends – we know that we totally and unambiguously win in the end.”

    and earlier, “I don’t know… it doesn’t really bother me in a sense that touches on my faith. Perhaps I am too much a student of Church history to be deceived into thinking any higher of the Church’s human element than it merits. How would you feel if you were alive in the 10th century and witnessed Pope John XII offering a toast to the devil? Or witnessed the Cadaver Synod? Yeah, it sucks. I know.”

    “Why not come clean about this being a worse time than the nineteenth century when popes actually tried to get rid of roughness. ”

    Okay. Let’s say it’s worse than the 19th century. Now how does that invalidate or contradict anything I and Boniface have argued? It doesn’t. That’s the point. This isn’t difficult:
    Boniface argues the church has problems with liberalism, modernism, and shoddy leadership within its ranks. I agree the church has those problems. Boniface also argues all the yankees, winning, superiority talk I cited above. Despite that, Boniface isn’t charged with shrugging or ignoring and is held as a model of an honest and realistic RC. I and others make arguments along a similar vein and am charged with shrugging and ignoring. What?

    “And if winning is so automatic”

    Why don’t you ask Boniface?

    “Second Vatican Council said yes. ”

    If Vat2 dogmatized modernism, Boniface missed the memo: “While accepting Vatican II, we also deplore abuses and mentalities that have regretfully taken hold in the wake of the Council.”

    Like

  24. Darryl,
    I saw Presbyterian churches from the top down welcoming women’s ordination and homosexual marriage and it freaked me out. I didn’t want to read the scriptures as a fundamentalist Neanderthal if it was open to a progressive interpretation. So I presuppositionally believed I was correct to be against those two things, but I needed philosophical backing and if natural-law is any kind of law, it should be able to disclose the truth, otherwise it’s a perpetual interpretive tug-of-war between the progressive ideologies on one side and the bigots on the other. I didn’t want to belong to either side by using an emotional justification. If natural law as a science could be employed it would harmonize with scripture and therefore provide clarity to the dispute.

    Here’s some help that might be of interest to you.

    common-places-the-promise-and-prospects-of-retrieval-recent-developments-in-roman-catholic-thought-that-shape-contemporary-dogmatic

    Liked by 1 person

  25. James Young, “it has guarded and preserved this deposit”

    So where is the guarding and preservation going on now?

    And where have you ever criticized the church without my getting you to quote Boniface?

    We have brains. We can tell the difference between Francis and Pius X, and between James the Shrugger (who never expresses embarrassment about the converts) and Boniface.

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  26. Susan,

    Your rejoinder to Robert is merely an assertion. Of course Anglicans and Lutherans don’t have Apostolic Succession *if* apostolic Succession means being Roman Catholic!

    You need to substantiate numerous things before you can rule out the Lutherans & Anglicans. You don’t necessarily have to do that in a com-box, but you just repeated back Roman Catholic dogma. Roman Catholic dogma may be absolutely correct, but regurgitating the dogma doesn’t actually communicate anything for those who disagree with it.

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  27. Brandon,

    Good morning and thank you for asking me to rejoin substantively.
    We all have to do this, right, no matter our commitments?

    So leaving the question of the great schism aside for the interests of this part of our conversation, Anglicanism objectively began when Henry VIII claimed to be the head of the Church in his political territory.
    Luther claimed apostolic succession as being what is contained in the scriptures( which it is, in part). But he objectively broke away from a visible hierarchy that claimed to be intrinsically the tradition of the apostles and held the deposit of the faith.
    How do you discriminate between the claims? Do you factor in faithfulness to the teaching of the Apostles and linear succession, or do you only go with the claimants who say they have apostolic succession in a form not formally recognized by tradition?
    Does this help?

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  28. But, Susan, natural law does harmonize with special revelation. Theonomists do with the Bible what you all do with the magisterium–act as if it’ll bring absolute clarity (theonomists to natural law and Catholics to the Bible). What you both ignore is the problem is the indwelling sin of interpreters. The Bible isn’t needed to clarify natural law and the magisterium isn’t needed to clarify the Bible. They’re both sufficiently clear on their own.

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  29. Darryl,

    “And where have you ever criticized the church without my getting you to quote Boniface?”

    When I agreed with your citations of RCs acknowledging problems within the church – https://oldlife.org/2015/11/17/shrugged-and-always-shrugging/#comment-19405

    “We can tell the difference between Francis and Pius X”

    Nothing Boniface has argued entails he thinks Francis and Pius X don’t have those differences. Nothing I have argued entails I think Francis and Pius X don’t have those differences. I should be embarrassed by converts because of the yankees talk? But Boniface makes the same yankees talk. So again – what?

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  30. Also Brandon, the priests and bishop priests in the king’s political juridiction did possess Apostolic succession until of course, they began to die out. They couldn’t pass on Apostolic succession when the Church in England was snatched by a man who wanted a Christianity of his own devise and had the power to make that happen.
    Those in his jurisdiction who were faithful to the true church suffered because of the split.

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  31. Steve,

    “But, Susan, natural law does harmonize with special revelation.”

    Agreed. Yes it does.

    Top down though( as high.as you can get) you have dissenters who not only hold dissent but start new churches when people disagree with their respective interpretations.

    Is women’s ordination biblical? Asking you directly.
    What of natural law can you use to support your position? Want to employ the bible only? Okay then…give me not only a precident that could be a matter of convention( like head coverings) but a imperative against woman being preachers and pastors.

    How about homosexual conjugal activity and nuptial union?
    It’s biblically clear, to me, but people argue differently. Does Presbyterian hierarchy have an official position even if there are dissenters in the ranks? Are there many hierarchies and you just find the hierarchy that most resembles your personal interpretation?
    If you simply throw scripture at me, I’ll accuse you of being a eeeeevanjellyfish:)

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  32. Susan,

    Yes I know, but what does it mean in those cases. They don’t share the same deposit, and neither are under the See of St. Peter any longer. They were, but are not any longer since they both stepped away at a point in history.
    So apostolic succession means ordination by a bishop that in communion with St. Peter’s chair. And to stay in communion they have to not only confess the creed but all doctrines that were passed down from the apostles, but that doesn’t mean that everything was written down.

    The Eastern Orthodox don’t share the same deposit, are not under the See of St. Peter, and their modern bishops were not ordained by bishops in communion with St. Peter. Neither does the East confess all of the doctrines that Rome believes were passed down from the Apostles.

    And yet Rome accepts the Apostolic succession claims of the East, right? What gives?

    From this Protestant’s point of view it looks highly selective. The Germans and the English embarrassed Rome more than the East did when the respective communions split, so they don’t get recognized. But the East does.

    What am I missing?

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  33. Susan, ordination is a redemptive category so natural law doesn’t speak to it. You ask for a biblical imperative against it: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” And the reasoning that circumvents a mere matter of convention is “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Re homosexuality, that’s exactly my point. Both natural and special revelation are perfectly clear on it (wrong). That people “argue differently” only goes to show that it’s a problem of interpretation which is a problem of abiding sin. No need of either the Bible or a pope to tell us that and shoving either in anyone’s face only serves to annoy and that greatly.

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  34. CVD: The RCC is no better than Protestantism in terms of being human and having sinners and “wounded warriors” in its ranks. The “upgrade” is not in that context. Isn’t Calvinism an upgrade over Arminianism?

    Yes, because we can examine Scripture and objectively observe that Calvinism fits better with the Scripture than Arminianism. For example, we can read Grace Unlimited and observe that Romans 9.18 is elided, indicating that the Arminian authors cannot account for it in their system. [That’s an example, not a full argument]. Granted that Arminians believe in the superiority of their system, but when Calvinists and Arminians discuss fairly, each can observe of the other that valid points are made from Scripture.

    There is no corresponding objective way to say that RCC is superior to Calvinism. The claim of the RCC to being the church Christ founded is not objectively verifiable, and is accepted only by the RCC. When Protestants and Roman Catholics discuss fairly, the discussion of motives of credibility always end observing that the Catholic case is plausible only from an interpretation of history that is derived from Catholic teaching.

    So there is a profound difference between the Calvinist/Arminian divide and the Protestant/Catholic divide. In the first case, Calvinists and Arminians appeal to an external authority (the Scripture) and debate its meaning. The argument is over objective criteria.

    In the second case, the RCC appeals to its own authority as the foundation for an interpretation of Scripture and history that demonstrates the validity of its authority. The argument is over the plausibility of a circularly justified paradigm.

    CVD: Because Rome isn’t incoherent and liberal. The sacraments are still there. The liturgy is still there. Scripture is still there. Dogma is still there.

    It follows then that if one disbelieves that Rome still has the Scripture — because it has superseded Scripture by “infallible interpretations of Scripture”, hence making the text into a sock puppet — then one should leave Rome.

    Likewise it follows that if one believes that Rome is incoherent because of the circular reasoning used to justify its claims, then one should leave Rome.

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  35. Hi Robert,

    “From this Protestant’s point of view it looks highly selective. The Germans and the English embarrassed Rome more than the East did when the respective communions split, so they don’t get recognized. But the East does.

    What am I missing?”

    Smart and legitimate question. But be careful about impugning things like” embarrassment” onto the Church. You want to stay commited to your ideas but you have to also grasp how Catholicism recognizes itself even if you, at this point, disagree. There’s no need to believe in some conspiracy scheme.
    Start with apostolic succession bring a thing and try to see how each holds to it and why. Is there a way to get to the correct meaning or is this too something we will perpetually argue?

    Okay, so the one church made-up of the apostles went out into all the world and so all later priests were ordained by someone who was ordained by an apostle. Whereever this stopped, this aspect of succession ceased, and so the EO do have internal coherency.
    Peter was an Apostle, the chief of the Apostles, and so this was the apostolic succession that ordained all the priests in the West that, before the great split, joined the Church east and west.
    In other words, they have unbroken apostolic succession. People wouldn’t convert to EO if they didn’t know and believe that apostolic succession counted for something.

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  36. Steve,

    See, I can’t agree with your interpretation. There are women who are doctors in the Church who are more learned than some men.
    Does this mean that I ,with abiding sin, am better at understanding than you with your own abiding sin, what is or isn’t permitted in the Church? Or does the scripture you use as prooftexts need broader hermeneutic? Am I a theological progressive by believing that women can teach men( but can’t be priestly pastors? Or are you a misogyniststic for no real theological reason?
    I know why the Catholic Church will never ordain women, so you?

    And about natural law, how do you understand it as relating to same sex union?

    We have to narrow in and reach agreement. Is this possible using the bible alone? Historically it doesn’t seem so.

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  37. James Young, I asked first. Where do Susan and Mermaid and Devin Rose and Bryan and the Jasons say anything about the problems of the church?

    And do explain how your “candor” has any significance since in your view it doesn’t matter what the church does. Dissidents or no? Sin or no? Heretics or no? The church always wins. Tell me exactly how that’s not Yankee’s pride?

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  38. Steve,

    I mispelled misogynist. There are other spelling mistakes as well.Hope you can understand what I am meaning to say.

    You added this as proof that women can’t teach in Church.

    “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor”

    Are you trying to say that Adam was smarter or that men don’t get deceived?
    So Adam ate with full knowledge of what he was doing, but women are always deceived and therefore, abiding sin and all, are deceivers and can’t teach?
    That’s not a sane line to hold.

    There is an heirachary of order so that chaos doesn’t reign, and it is seen in the smallest social unit. This doesn’t mean that man is smarter than woman. It does mean that the husband is suppose to be the priest of the home. Submission to one another except when one is clearly not doing as Christ wants us to or believing what Christ wants us to.

    If your wife is a better mechanic than you by all means let her speak.
    If you are a better cook, by all means do the cooking.
    In emotional matters submit to one another. In spiritual matters she should submit to you as long as your right.

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  39. Susan, what does learned have to do with it? You have no argument from me that there are women with gifts and abilities that out pace men (within and without the church). But it’s not a question of ability but authorization. So the question of “who reads things better despite his/her abiding sin” is rendered moot.

    Natural law blows the whistle on same sex union.

    But I’m not sure the point is landing with you, which is that both natural and special revelation need no assistance with regard to their clarity. Interpreters do because of their inherent flaws, but not the texts themselves.

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  40. Susan, now you’re arguing with Paul. That was his reason for not ordaining the fairer sex. As I say, I don’t think it had anything to do with smarts or abilities (but order). Still, all’s I’m doing is answering your question about ordination and the demand for a biblical imperative. I gave you one. You impugn Paul. What are they teaching you over there?

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  41. Susan,

    Smart and legitimate question. But be careful about impugning things like” embarrassment” onto the Church. You want to stay commited to your ideas but you have to also grasp how Catholicism recognizes itself even if you, at this point, disagree. There’s no need to believe in some conspiracy scheme.

    Fair enough, but the problem is we have one approach to the West and one to the East that is very different, and its observable that the Reformation had a more profound impact on the papacy than the East/West split. So let’s look at your points.

    Start with apostolic succession bring a thing and try to see how each holds to it and why. Is there a way to get to the correct meaning or is this too something we will perpetually argue?

    Okay. Let’s just talk about the Anglicans. The Anglicans believe that they have a valid Apostolic succession of bishops through the laying on of hands that goes back to Peter. Lutherans have a similar view, but we’ll skip them for now. Rome believes that it has a valid Apostolic succession of bishops through he laying on of hands that goes back to Peter as well.

    Okay, so the one church made-up of the apostles went out into all the world and so all later priests were ordained by someone who was ordained by an apostle. Whereever this stopped, this aspect of succession ceased, and so the EO do have internal coherency.

    Peter was an Apostle, the chief of the Apostles, and so this was the apostolic succession that ordained all the priests in the West that, before the great split, joined the Church east and west.

    In other words, they have unbroken apostolic succession. People wouldn’t convert to EO if they didn’t know and believe that apostolic succession counted for something.

    But I don’t see the argument here. The Anglicans can trace a succession back to Peter just as well as Rome can. They just argue that Rome went bad and so the Archbishop of Canterbury could not be under His authority anymore. I fail to see how this means they don’t have Apostolic Succession, especially if they are correct.

    Maybe the Anglicans go through Rome in a way that the East does, but if that is the reason why Canterbury is not a valid bishop, you’ve got a real problem with then claiming that the pope should have universal jurisdiction. Because the EO are doing just find without ever having the pope over them or ordaining their bishops.

    So I’m waiting for the argument as to why the East counts and the Anglicans don’t, because the differences between Rome and Canterbury don’t seem from my vantage point to be any more significant and determinative than the differences between Rome and Constantinople.

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  42. Susan,

    We have to narrow in and reach agreement. Is this possible using the bible alone? Historically it doesn’t seem so.

    But if you make this argument, then recognize that using the Pope, the RC Magisterium, the Bible, and the Tradition hasn’t been enough to narrow in and reach agreement either. The EO and the Protestants don’t agree.

    The only valid way I see to maintain that the RC system is a better way of reaching agreement is to say that only Rome is a true church and whether other groups claiming to be Christian agree or not is completely irrelevant. But Rome doesn’t do that, at least not anymore. See the EO at least.

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  43. D.G. Hart:
    Where do Susan and Mermaid and Devin Rose and Bryan and the Jasons say anything about the problems of the church?>>>>>

    Aw, come on, Brother Hart. Cut me some slack. I have said several times that the Church has had really horrible leaders during her 2,000 years of history. In fact, it is a miracle that the Catholic Church even exists. Yet here she is, and here you are day after day “kicking against the pricks” as the Apostle Paul did at one time.

    You just want me to agree with you that she is hopelessly lost and sinking fast. Of course you think all of Christianity is going down the tubes with little hope of ever seeing revival or reformation, let alone reunification.

    I will remind you of Pope Pius VII’s words to Napoleon, which have been quoted here before.

    In fact, read a history of the Popes and see how saintly some were and how devilish others were. Some were just not all that competent. Yet amazingly enough, there is still a Pope in Rome.

    Now, according to your own theology, God is sovereign. You can say that God allows Rome to continue to exist because of reasons you do not know.

    Another way to look at it is that Jesus really did mean what He said about the gates of hell not prevailing against the Church. What if she really is Christ’s body and bride, the one He gave His life for?

    Remember, you are also a brother according to Catholicism. He gave His life for you. Oh, I know you are part of the “elect” already, but I also know you aren’t sure of that. You cannot know according to your theology and epistemology. You can only make your best guess, but never make your election sure in your system.

    ——————————————————————————–
    “Evidently, Napoleon himself announced to the Pope that he was going to destroy the Church, to which Pius VII responded, “Oh my little man, you think you’re going to succeed in accomplishing what centuries of priests and bishops have tried and failed to do!””

    http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/weve-been-here-before-marriage-and-the-room-of-tears/4811/

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  44. Steve,

    So not permitting a woman to teach must be in the context of the liturgy of holy mass where priestly ministers of word and sacrament are acting in the person of Christ who is male and the head of the Church. That’s the reason why.

    What do you do with other words of Paul and Peter in the context of church order?

    “Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing. (1 Pet. 3:3)”

    “Women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire. . . (1 Tim. 2:9)

    “Any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head—it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. (1 Cor. 11:5-6)”

    Doctrine or disciple and the wisdom to know the difference.

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  45. Hi Robert,

    Do you mind scrolling up where I tried to answer Brandon’s questions about Lutheran and Anglican ideas of apostolic succession.
    I tried to be succinct and since that’s rare for me, I don’t want to mess up what I already laid down:)
    Plus, I’m helping my daughter design her doll house and don’t have anymore time today:)

    Thank you!

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  46. Mermaid, you know nothing of Roman Catholic history in the U.S. and yet you pontificate like a pontiff:

    In the early 1970s, it was not unknown that reputable Catholic theologians and even bishops would, in ecumenical settings, concelebrate the Eucharist with liberal Protestant clergy. Such events were unusual, of course, but those participating thought they were only a step or two ahead of where the Church was going. If you cannot imagine this happening today, that’s partly because the old mainline Protestant churches matter so much less than they used to. Besides, their sharp anti-Catholic turn in recent years—much of it occasioned by the battles over abortion—has made this kind of unfocused ecumenical gestures pointless. Mostly, however, you can’t imagine bishops or theologians of stature concelebrating the Eucharist with non-Catholics because the doctrine of communio, with all it entails for Christian unity and division, has grown firm again.

    Back then, however, nearly every element of Catholic doctrine appeared as tentative and changeable as figures in wet clay. Indeed, insofar as anyone could tell at the time, the emerging shape seemed to be the separation of Catholicism even from Catholic communion. Why not consecrate the elements with almost anyone who wants to join in?

    These were the days, you remember, when popular writers such as Father Andrew Greeley would speak of “cultural Catholics,” vaguely identifiable by their social sense rather than by their actually assenting to Church doctrine or going to Mass. Sociology in the 1950s had predicted the assimilation of American Catholics as they crossed the crabgrass frontier to suburbia, or melted down their ethnic heritage in intermarriage, or rose to middle-class respectability. For the next generation of writers, Catholicism itself was on the chopping block. Left or right, everybody piled on, and the discount-book tables were littered with copies of The Decomposition of Catholicism and Runaway Church and Can Catholic Schools Survive? and The Devastated Vineyard and Bare Ruined Choirs and Has the Catholic Church Gone Mad?

    It was the silly season, and anything seemed possible. Remember Malachi Martin’s odd bestsellers? Remember The Exorcist? In 1971, the Jesuit Robert Drinan became the first Catholic priest elected to the U.S. Congress—only to reject the emerging pro-life movement as “the powers of darkness” and denounce his fellow Catholics for “seeking to impose” their pro-life views “on the rest of the nation.” Stretching the Church on both ends, Latin America produced both Gustavo Gutiérrez’s A Theology of Liberation, a key text in the emergence of an openly Marxist Catholicism, and Joaquin Saenz y Arriaga’s Sede Vacante, a foundational book for the new traditionalism. The exiled archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc—brother of the assassinated Catholic president of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem—was wandering the globe, consecrating his own bishops left and right. The Jesuits were giving up ownership of their colleges. The nuns were giving up their habits.

    And then there was the bishops’ conference. The 1970s were a highly politicized time, and perhaps it is no surprise that official Catholic statements were equally politicized: the Resolution on Southeast Asia, the Declaration on Farm Labor Legislation, the Proposals on Handgun Violence, the Statement on Domestic Food Policy. It’s worth noting, however, that all these papers from the bishops’ office were on the Left and moving even more leftward through the 1980s—even while the majority of American Catholics were trending right in their voting patterns.

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  47. So, Brother Hart, are you saying that there is no longer a Pope in Rome?

    Good article. BTW, I find it odd given your epistemology that you would make a judgment about what I know and don’t know. How do you even know what you know let alone what I know?

    Of course, your readers will check out the article itself to see what the author was really arguing. The stalemates of the 70s are over, according to him.

    Thanks for the link. God bless.

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  48. See, Brother Hart, you missed the heart of the article. Here is just a bit. Once again this article does not help your cause.
    ——————————————————————————————
    But one can find at least hints that Catholicism has finally begun to leave the deadlocked past behind. Within the new Catholic culture, abortion is no longer a 1970s kind of disputed or divisive issue. Regardless of polls that reveal some dissent about abortion among those who identify themselves as Catholic, you can’t travel far in Catholic circles without feeling the pro-life pressure. Every diocese, from the most liberal to the most conservative, maintains a pro-life office. Every parish, from the most radical to the most traditional, refuses to preach in favor of legalized abortion. The passion, the excitement, the moral force that makes less-dedicated people feel a little guilty—everything that makes a culture, in other words—is pro-life at its core.

    Any serious believer will insist that the Church itself exists to distribute the sacraments and preach the gospel, and there is a promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Cultures, on the other hand, rise and fall, appear and disappear, and for a long while it looked as though there wouldn’t be any Catholic culture in the United States. If that no longer seems the case, it is because something different has emerged—although, to understand how and why, you have to brace yourself and revisit the mess that was the 1970s.

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  49. Darryl,

    Because the people you mentioned don’t write articles every week on the problems of the church, or any at all, does not entail they don’t actually think the church has problems or that there’s some conspiracy to hide the truth from the sheeple and sell inquirers a bill of goods. Do you really think if you asked any of them if they think liberalism or modernism is a problem within the church’s ranks, they’d say no? Can inquirers not read a newspaper? You infer that simply based on the arguments they make about winning, superiority, yankees, but there’s no reason to conclude that any more than someone reading the citations I culled from Boniface must think he doesn’t care or acknowledge the church’s problems. Nor would someone in the 19th century you think is some golden age making those winning yankees arguments entail they were ignorant or shrugging off the troubles and turmoil the church experienced in its history. Your turn.

    “And do explain how your “candor” has any significance since in your view it doesn’t matter what the church does. Dissidents or no? Sin or no? Heretics or no? The church always wins. Tell me exactly how that’s not Yankee’s pride?”

    So you don’t think the Christian church will win in the end despite dissidents, sin, and heretics? Odd thing for an elder. It’s called faith, not pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Susan,

    I reread your response to Brandon. Basically you are assuming that the RC idea of Apostolic Succession is true and then judging the Lutherans and Anglicans as not having it because they don’t live up to the Roman ideal. Or, what Brandon said.

    So leaving the question of the great schism aside for the interests of this part of our conversation, Anglicanism objectively began when Henry VIII claimed to be the head of the Church in his political territory.

    I’m fairly certain that Anglicans would disagree that their church began when Henry VIII claimed to be head of the church. The argument, I think, would be more along the lines of, “Yeah, we were subject to the pope until we realized that such is not required for the church or for Apostolic succession to work.”

    Luther claimed apostolic succession as being what is contained in the scriptures( which it is, in part). But he objectively broke away from a visible hierarchy that claimed to be intrinsically the tradition of the apostles and held the deposit of the faith.

    But according to Roman Catholicism, so did the East when it rejected the papacy in the Great Schism. So why do the EO count and the Lutherans don’t?

    How do you discriminate between the claims? Do you factor in faithfulness to the teaching of the Apostles and linear succession, or do you only go with the claimants who say they have apostolic succession in a form not formally recognized by tradition?
    Does this help?

    For the sake of argument, I’ll accept that some form of Apostolic succession involving bishops is what Christ gave us. So the answer would be, for the Lutheran and Anglican is that you factor in faithfulness to the teaching of the Apostles and linear succession and that you don’t have Apostolic succession if one is missing. For Lutherans and Anglicans, that means Rome does not have true Apostolic succession beginning sometime in the medieval period. The succession hit a dead end in the see of Rome and elsewhere because of heresy.

    The second point assumes that the Apostolic succession in Lutheranism and Anglicanism is in a form not formally recognized by the tradition, which is one of the main points of disagreement. Lutherans and Anglicans are quite adamant that they do follow Apostolic Succession in a form that is formally recognized by tradition. And historically, their claim is at least as good as Rome’s in that regard.

    Whether it is biblical is another matter. But what has to be established first is that Rome’s definition of Apostolic Succession, which matches neither the East’s nor the Protestant communions who hold to it, is the norm. That’s impossible to do historically without employing the kind of circularity that Jeff mentions. There’s a reason why Newman had to first come up with an idea of development before he could become Roman Catholic. It’s because the early history of the church doesn’t bear out Rome’s claims.

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  51. Cletus,

    So you don’t think the Christian church will win in the end despite dissidents, sin, and heretics? Odd thing for an elder. It’s called faith, not pride.

    The difference is that we believe that the Christian church will win, not necessarily our particular visible denomination. Rome believes that for the Christian church to win, its particular visible denomination not only has to win but has to be infallible whenever it says it is infallible.

    See the difference?

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  52. Mermaid, right, everything’s fine. No LBGT faction at Marquette. No papal nuncios destroying evidence of priestly sexual abuse.

    Wherever Mermaid goes, there blows the Holy Spirit.

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  53. James Young, I believe the church will win because Christ will win. You have to put your hope in the institution that produced among others Alexander VI.

    I read lots of RC websites, more than any of the converts I see here do who are all reading Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, and Aquinas. No mention even of Mother Angelica.

    Even Mermaid thinks the 1970s are behind. Do you?

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  54. mrswebfoot says Any serious believer will insist that the Church itself exists to distribute the sacraments and preach the gospel

    and mrswebfoot, as you know, many serious believers know that rituals(distribute the sacraments) themselves do not confer/infuse/add sanctifying grace upon people/to their account and that the church exists to preach the gospel, make and mature disciples, represent God in/to this world, and make known God’s manifold wisdom to rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.Jesus alone saves by grace by faith in Jesus alone.

    And though you may protest claiming to agree when DG says ” Mary is good but she is not exactly going to save”, your speculations and arguments say otherwise about co-redeemer ‘Jesus’nMary’….
    your mary: “Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole world through whom the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored “ “without whose cooperation there would have been no Incarnation/no Redemption.” “whose cooperation is ongoing, installing her into an eternal relationship with God for the salvation of the world” “ taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring the gifts of eternal salvation.”
    from “Mary, Mother of Salvation “ How to Explain the “Co-Redemptrix” to Evangelicals By: Fr. Dwight Longenecker http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/mary-mother-of-salvation

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  55. Susan, I don’t suggest they’re misogynist. But you’ve lost me on your point. It seems like we agree on ordination but you keep trying to zetz me on the biblical case for it. Where are you going with all of this?

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  56. Darryl,

    Speaking of EWTN, tonight I thought I’d do something I haven’t done for awhile. I tuned into The Journey Home program and Marcus Grodi was interviewing a former Hilldale VP, Clark Durant.
    Interesting the different roads people take to Rome.

    Dear Steve,

    I’m not trying to trip you up. Remember how you addressed me when I said that I got worried when I saw that a lot of Protestant denominations were ordaining women and approving of homosexual union?
    We both acknowledge that women shouldn’t be ordained, but our disagreement is over the reason why they can’t.
    In the future, if your Presbyterian church decides that to not ordain women is misogynistic or not being with the times, what do you use to prevent them from changing? Or do you just suffer the community split and move to a different church.
    Rome says that women can never be ordained as priests. Do you think that this stance is papal, ” Because I say so?”, or do you think it’s based on a right reading of the scriptures or the tradition’s understanding of “in persona Christi?”, or a combination?
    Do you see the reason of priesthood appearing in this conversation?

    I want to further address natural law and homosexual union, but no more for tonight.

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  57. Susan, it’s odd that converts like Clark Durant are more Roman Catholic than Pope Francis:

    Eventually, while working on an urban education project with Detroit’s Cardinal Adam Maida, he found himself confronted with a decision- should he keep following his conscience toward the Catholic Church, or remain comfortably ecumenical and not rock any boats?

    And the Pope prays with Hindus and Muslims?

    This is the dishonesty of converts. They fashion a church that doesn’t exist (or only used to).

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  58. Susan says Rome says that women can never be ordained as priests. Do you see the reason of priesthood appearing in this conversation?

    no, don’t see that reason- could you explain?
    As you probably know, many believe the bible which says that all believers are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) – that Jesus, who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—has made us to be a kingdom of priests ( Rev1:6)

    To learn, I was reading a little about it.

    It is an office of clergy with teaching, pastoral, sacerdotal powers. Pastoral power is defined as “legislative, judicial and punitive.” Sacerdotal power is the power to “impart grace through the sacraments.”

    Priests are in parishes and have a responsibility to conduct seven sacraments – baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy order, marriage. Catholics believe that sacraments “dispense grace”.
    The priest in the Eucharist sacrament, for example, reaches up into the heavens and brings Christ down from his throne and places Him upon the altar to be offered up again as the victim for the sins of man – “a power greater than that of saints and angels; greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim.”- to literally bring Christ down for the sacrifice of the Mass and when He comes down, priests take the bread and the wine and literally turn it into the body and blood of Jesus.

    It is by the sacrament of holy order that priests are consecrated – a sacred ceremony called sacramentum ordinis – which dispenses grace to the priest -ordination literally confers sanctifying grace on a priest. “By the sacrament of order, the priest receives a new and special grace and a particular help by means of which he can cope in a worthy fashion and with unfailing courage with the high obligations of the office he has assumed as fulfill the duties.” “The character of order enables the possessor to take an active part in Christ’s priesthood. It obliges him to dispense the saving treasures of Christ” and “to lead a morally pure life.” This can never be repeated, reverted or rescinded, it is once and for good. (can’t get rid of an abusive one)

    Some like to apply to the priest the name ….Altar Christus….ie “another Christ.”

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  59. Hi Ali,

    Yes, the Catholic Church believes in the priesthood of all believer. We have to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, but there is another order amount the people of God. Just like in the OT there were men set apart to offer sacrifices and there was the rest of the people( the congregation) who since they belonged to God were to live uprighly offering their lives to God. So in the OT there was the religious ceremony that was a type of the perfect sacrifice that was still to come and an obligation of the people to give themselves to God.
    The only part that ceases with the coming of Christ is the animal sacrifice that had to stop once the substance arrived.
    But a sacerdotal system was supposed to stay among the new people of God under the new covenant.
    Modern evangelicalism dropped the sacramental system from its identity, but there are graces conferred by the sacraments. Yes, you receive grace in other ways, but there are special graces conferred by sacraments. This is how it’s always been.
    When early protestants dropped the priesthood and adopted only the priesthood of all believers they essentially eliminated the sacraments. They didn’t go as far as today’s nondenominational communities but the ethos was created.

    Paul was a priest. Romans 15:15-16
    http://www.cuf.org/2009/05/apostle-to-the-gentiles-paul-the-priest/

    Btw, so glad you keep studying.

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  60. Darryl,

    ” And the Pope prays with Hindus and Muslims?

    This is the dishonesty of converts. They fashion a church that doesn’t exist (or only used to).”

    If there was a problem with the Pope praying with Hindus and Muslims, you might have a point. But, there are Catholics who think like you do; in fact you read them.
    Being a historian though I’m sure that you are able to see the many facets of any situation, and cannot fairly compare the Pope who already is Catholic and the situation of a man who traveled mostly in Protestant circles and wanted to become Catholic.
    There’s a whole lot of difference between the two.

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  61. Susan, it sounds like your questions are aimed at discerning the difference between views of authority. I view Roman Catholicism to be top-down authoritarian, which is different from a plurality of elders in Reformed governance. That’s been my point since picking up with you here, namely that authoritarianism (whether in the form of theonomy or Catholicism) seems to appeal to those who need an extraordinary level of assurance and certainty. And for those outside looking in, that makes for a remarkable number of blind spots and willingness to accept what seems plainly unacceptable.

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  62. Susan: Being a historian though I’m sure that you are able to see the many facets of any situation, and cannot fairly compare the Pope who already is Catholic and the situation of a man who traveled mostly in Protestant circles and wanted to become Catholic.

    Sure. But here’s the point. Let’s grant for sake of argument that Francis’ behavior is correct: it is acceptable to pray with a Hindu.

    Now we have to ask, How is it that Durant, an eager learner who is reading Church teaching and being taught by duly sacramentally ordained priests, could come to a 180-degree opposite conclusion?

    The answer, of course, is that he misunderstood. What he thought to be the church teaching simply wasn’t.

    So then we ask, “Where’s the certainty and epistemological superiority?” We’ve traded out differing interpretations of the Bible only to get differing interpretations of the magisterial teaching, which is larger and more complex.

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  63. @ Susan: it also cuts the other way. For every Durant who wants to know why Francis can pray with a Hindu, there’s a Pietro Sambi who lights a devotional candle on a Hindu altar.

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  64. Susan, “If there was a problem with the Pope praying with Hindus and Muslims, you might have a point.”

    And if there is a problem with Presbyterians ordaining lesbians, your criticisms of Protestantism might have a point?

    Do you THINK it’s okay for Christians to pray with non-Christians? Who’s name do they use? To which god do they pray? Do they THINK?

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  65. Darryl,

    “I believe the church will win because Christ will win.”

    So do RCs. So if you don’t characterize your position as yankee’s pride, you shouldn’t tar RCism’s position as such.

    “You have to put your hope in the institution that produced among others Alexander VI.”

    So the Christian church doesn’t yield dissidents or no? Sin or no? Heretics or no? And I thought RCs were the ones immanentizing the eschaton.
    And you just supported the the “it’s-always-been-rough” point you claimed was disingenuous.

    “I read lots of RC websites, more than any of the converts”

    Did you read these before charging all converts/apologists as being dishonest naive ostriches? http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/04/liberalism-in-the-catholic-church/
    www(DOT)creedcodecult(DOT)com/stuff-i-dont-like-that-much-catholicism-edition/
    www(DOT)creedcodecult(DOT)com/lets-play-fair/ (considering you commented on this last one, perhaps it just slipped your mind)

    So now I’ve done my end, your turn. Either explain how the citations from Boniface I culled above are not examples of the superiority, triumphalism, winning, cheerleading, and yankees talk you wail and decry from apologists and converts, or give up the “Boniface is cool, converts and apologists are dishonest unTHINKING and naive ostriches” schtick.

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  66. Zrim,

    Not concerned about authority in the abstract. There are lots of hierarchical authority in this life. In marriages it’s a small social unit that needs ordering and as long as there’s mutual love, self- sacrifice, and respect the ship won’t sink. In larger communities( towns, cities, states, Republics, countries) the top is given or born into a leadership position and has the duty to not give preference to the larger group at the expense of the individual( what else is a whole but lots of parts?) or the individual at the expense of the greater community. Balance is hard to keep, and of course balance isn’t the chief goal all the time as when the group vies for some immoral so-called “right”.
    In regards to ecclesial authority, it is handed, not created. And within that context comes the answer to the question of doctrinal certainty.

    To Mr. Hart:

    After I wrote you last I felt very bad. It’s not easy to tame this tongue of mine.
    It so lazy of me to return to my snarky ways, and I don’t like myself when I do.
    Clark Durant’s Catholic gentlemanliness inspired me.
    So I apologize for engaging with you in any rude manner.

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  67. Jeff,

    You have to do more than point out someone can be ignorant or misunderstand things to get to the conclusion that an authoritative teacher therefore cannot and does not provide any advantage, correction, or clarification.

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  68. “Susan, I don’t care about the form. Engage the content. Sheesh!!”

    I have, many, many times, I have.:)

    You kid, or provoke. Look forward to hearing about your personal conversion( wink).

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  69. @ Cletus:

    That’s not my only post on that topic. The purpose of examples is to illuminate the reasoning, which has been provided elsewhere.

    To recap: If the advantage you seek is epistemological certainty, then an authoritative teacher alone cannot provide that certainty. Durant provides an example thereof.

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  70. D. G. Hart says:
    August 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm
    Mermaid, right, everything’s fine. No LBGT faction at Marquette. No papal nuncios destroying evidence of priestly sexual abuse.

    Wherever Mermaid goes, there blows the Holy Spirit.>>>>

    You came on the scene, what, in the early 1900s? You weren’t able to save Presbyterianism, yet you pretend to save all of Christianity by burning it all down.

    Heck. Half the time here I don’t know whether to defend Catholicism or defend my separated brethren. So, I do a little of both.

    Go ahead and mock me all you want – which you do – but take care in mocking the Holy Spirit. He does blow wherever He wills. You don’t get to decide where that is.

    If you can’t claim that He had something to do with the founding of the OPC, then what are you bragging about?

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  71. James Young, the church always has dissidents and then it really always has dissidents:

    Weigel has responded with alacrity to the crisis of abuse, seeing it as a challenge to clergy and laity alike. In his latest book, The Courage to Be Catholic1 he sets out an impressive program of sacerdotal rehabilitation that would uproot the underlying cause of sexual depravity: the betrayal by too many priests of their vows, their vocation, and their faith.

    What made this betrayal possible, Weigel argues, is the “culture of dissent” that has permeated the Catholic intelligentsia, especially in the U.S., ever since the mid-1960’s. Emerging in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, and constantly appealing for justification to the reformist “spirit” of that event, it has drawn its real energy from the secular liberationist cultures of the age, the culture of sexual liberation emphatically included. Within the Church, the “dissenters” seized upon the ameliorative impulses that animated Vatican II and proceeded to push them over into an open defiance of Church doctrines and discipline. In time, an ethos of moral permissiveness came to be at first tolerated in Catholic universities and seminaries and then actively inculcated; under its influence, Weigel writes, many clergy lost sight of what it was to be a Catholic priest: namely, an icon of Christ, wedded to the Church.

    What such priests offered to the people was a diluted version of their faith, a capitulation to reigning secular norms; Weigel calls it “Catholic Lite.” What they did to their own calling was much worse. Released from any more exalted sense of spiritual mission, in which asceticism occupies a natural place, some began to practice the lax morality their teachers were preaching, living down to the popular image of the repressed celibate who harbors within him the sexual predator. In this unwholesome atmosphere, a handful of genuine pedophiles and a much larger number of active homosexuals could infiltrate the Church, unhindered by bishops who anyway saw their function as bureaucratic and corporate rather than as pastoral and apostolic.

    But that’s okay. The church will win in the end.

    But what happens to the souls the church abuses while it “wins”? I mean, don’t the faithful depend on the priests and the bishops? Or is the church like an operating system, just runs no matter the software?

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  72. Merm, why is it that everyone wants to shoot the messenger? Why do the people who point out the problems get abused while the people who are a problem get defended and vindicated? Btw, it’s not just a failure particular to you, it’s a sociological phenomenon. It’s the how and why of predators and victims.

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  73. Mermaid, I appreciate the power you attribute to Old Life, but I do believe your church has arsonists much more powerful, prominent, and cagey than little ol’ mmmmmeeeeeEEEE.

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  74. Letme, isn’t the problem that ultimately Rome is far more predestinated than any Calvinist church. Once baptized, you can’t get out. Once ordained, you can’t get out. Once the church Christ founded, you can’t go wrong.

    It’s hardwired, baked in, sealed and shined to think that nothing little old Mermaid or James Young can do will ever matter. So instead of conceiving of yourself as victim, you look on the bright side. I won as many pennants as the Yankees (but — doh — have no rings to show for it).

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  75. Darryl,

    “But that’s okay. The church will win in the end.”

    You already agree the Christian church will win in the end despite the dissent and sin within its ranks.

    “But what happens to the souls the church abuses while it “wins”? I mean, don’t the faithful depend on the priests and the bishops?”

    The faithful don’t depend on the ordained in your church? What happened to all that “means of grace” and “lawful administration” stuff I thought confessionalists held to?

    “Or is the church like an operating system, just runs no matter the software?”

    The church endures despite its human weaknesses – that’s pretty much been its story since the beginning. Boniface said so – speaking of which, feel free to engage my point on him and your convert narrative anytime.

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  76. “Susan, is it okay for the Pope to pray with Muslims? If so, which I think you said, then why isn’t it okay for Presbyterians to ordain lesbians?”

    There’s a coherent answer, but I could pretty much guarantee that you would not accept it.
    When I answer, why don’t you say, ” Oh well having heard that ( and I don’t agree because of x)but it does bring to my next question, and perhaps I will understand better once I get clarity on it. And thank you for helping me understand something foreign to my way of thinking!”

    Speaking of……
    Why didn’t Brandon ask a follow-up question?
    Comboxes are not the best places, but it’s all we got.

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  77. James Young, “The church endures despite its human weaknesses”

    So no reason to reform.

    Funny that you yourself can’t sit back and let your “weaknesses” slide. You might wind up in Hell if one of those weaknesses turns out to be mortal sin. But if the church does it. No biggie.

    And you object to Calvinism. This is predestination on steroids.

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  78. Susan, what kind of coherent answer exists when the Bible, from the Babylonian Exile to the church at Laodecia, forbids believers from worshiping false gods?

    You are a liberal. Worse, you’re a liberal who thinks she’s conservative and found the ONLY true faith. Right, the only true faith that prays with false faiths.

    THINKing yet?

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  79. The faithful don’t depend on the ordained in your church? What happened to all that “means of grace” and “lawful administration” stuff I thought confessionalists held to?

    Of course they do. That’s the point and the reason that discipline is crucial. A church that allows rampant disregard of church teaching to persist is following in the steps of Eli. A church that will not even discipline her own clergy (indeed conspires to cover up their crimes) is no longer a church. We’ve gone from “moral certainty” that this was all much ado about nothing, to a few bad apples allowed because of the permissive reforms in the wake V2, to well at least the documents are still orthodox and we aren’t performing gay marriages in all of the diocese yet. Because of indwelling sin, the elect will always struggle. No one is asking for perfection, but what is clear is that the system that the RCC has doubled down on exacerbates the problem:

    There’s a tendency among priests to hypostasize the priesthood. Being a priest is thought to bestow a certain dignity and grace on a person, and that grace objectively must be safeguarded. The world is objectively better off with more priests than less. So, even if a man is totally corrupt, the idea is that he’s still a priest, and that must be held onto at all costs. I’ve found this attitude myself when I’ve wondered if I can stay part of an organization that, in some areas, has become irredeemably lost. “We have to find a way to preserve your priesthood” was said to me by my superior.

    The only analogy to this that occurs to me is in the context of the Eucharist. Karl Rahner was silenced by the CDF in the ’50’s over his writings on concelebration of the Eucharist. Part of his argument in that book was that there was an overemphasis on the phenomenon of transubstantiation–the ex opere operato of the sacrament–to the neglect of the salvific character–the ex opere operantis. His claim was that multiplying masses was pointlesss without the latter. But, some argued that the more masses said, the better.

    So, no matter what the person did, the priesthood, as a thing, must be saved. I sometimes think it’s even more important than the person who’s actually a priest. It’s certainly, for many, more important than any victim.

    This isn’t a case of a few bad apples it is systemic rot throughout the organization. But hey, its the rituals that matter. As the good book says, God prefers sacrifices to obedience… its the traditions that really matter in the end. Or do I have that backwards?

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  80. Darryl,

    God made promises to the church he didn’t make to Britain or America. That’s why you think the church will win in the end.

    And someone praying with someone does not entail that person is praying the same as the other person is. If I see a Christian and a Hindu praying in some interreligious mixed faith meeting, I’m not assuming the Christian is praying to Ganesh any more than I’m assuming the Hindu is praying to Christ.

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  81. Darryl, I can’t explain the trads. I’m a sanctity of religious conscience Vat II baby. However, there is the cradle culturalists-legacy parishioners, which may be what you’re alluding to. But the trads are converts and they still remind me of conservative evanjellyfish but now with a history that predates strip malls. The problem is, the more history the more acid. Plus, what about, have you taken an inventory of where you’re living now? They don’t remind me of the die is set cradles. We never tried to sell, we just were.

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  82. Susan says: Paul was a priest. Romans 15:15-16

    Thanks Susan. It is that verse the one you use to support Catholic priests?

    Rom 15: 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

    Anyway, though, it is definitely a beautiful verse… makes one want to weep…
    -all believers=priests; Paul uses that analogy for his ministry of ‘the gospel of God’
    -his act of worship/his offering to God = Gentile souls he won to Jesus
    -and they are an acceptable offering. Why? ‘they are sanctified by the Spirit’

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  83. Hi Ali:)

    As I said, there is the priesthood of all believers, but there is a lot more going on here. There is the typology of the Old Testament’s High Priest, priests and the Levites. If there is an OT typology it needs filament in the new. This is how the Apostolic Father’s read the NT…..in light of the old model( type) that prefigured the things that came in the life of Jesus.
    The NT’s covenant includes the fulfillment in the Bishops, priests and deacons.

    The OT types and NT fulfillments are beautiful and rich.
    Keep a’ reading;)

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  84. Also, Ali. Keep in mind that you are reading that section of Romans according to an ant-sacerdotal lens that you’ve been taught.
    The Reformed( your ecclesial forefathers, who are represented by our host here ,and the others who pole fun at you, GTT and Petros for not being more mainstream and sacramental)dropped that,and your Anabaptist forefathers did even more eliminating and omitting.
    Anyways, there was a church that was sacederdotal long before this continent ,that you and I were born on, was even inhabited, and it was founded by the Lord that we both love.

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  85. James Young, have you read the Bible? You’re mainly M, a little T, and no S. Heck, if the church had embraced Arianism, you’d have no way of saying that was wrong.

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  86. Susan, “there was a church that was sacederdotal long before this continent ,that you and I were born on, was even inhabited, and it was founded by the Lord that we both love.”

    So you’re finally becoming Eastern Orthodox?

    Stop the false claims to justify your decision.

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  87. James Young, What’s up with Notre Dame?

    Father Jenkins began his presidency in 2006 with a very public and sharp dispute with Bishop John M. D’Arcy over a student production of The Vagina Monologues, a graphic paean to lesbian sex. Next came Bishop D’Arcy’s denunciation of the honoring of President Obama, who is the Church’s most formidable adversary on abortion and religious liberty. Eighty-two cardinals, archbishops, and bishops concurred in Bishop D’Arcy’s reproach. When has anything like that ever happened at a Catholic university?

    Of these three episodes, the Biden affair is especially telling. There were (flimsy) faculty assertions of academic freedom respecting The Vagina Monologues, and there was a (sort of) tradition of honoring presidents. But in the Biden matter, Father Jenkins rejected the faculty’s recommendations; and surely he knew that his action would divide alumni, cast a pall over the commencement, and tarnish Notre Dame’s reputation in the pro-life community.

    And for what? To convert the Laetare Medal into a civics award to politicians whom no one would call distinguished but who have generally (though not always) been affable with opponents and generally (though not always) inclined toward compromise.

    How to explain this repeated stiff-arming of Notre Dame’s bishops by the priest-president of a school whose robust Catholicism has been celebrated over decades in films and books and the cheers of legions of fans of the Fighting Irish?

    I know, Notre Dame isn’t the church.

    The curia isn’t the church.

    The pope isn’t the church.

    The gnostic body of Christ.

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  88. “ministering as a priest”
    What’s that literary construction that includes “like” or “as” called again. Similar to a metaphor I believe.

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  89. ” The NT’s covenant includes the fulfillment in the Bishops, priests and deacons.”
    Lotsa connections between old and new to be sure. But the priesthood wasn’t fulfilled in a new order – check the epistle of Hebrews.

    ” Anyways, there was a church that was sacederdotal long before this continent ,that you and I were born on, was even inhabited, and it was founded by the Lord that we both love.”
    The Americas were populated long before Abraham came on the scene. Or do you have something else in mind?

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  90. ” That’s why you think the church will win in the end.”
    There will always be those called out and preserved by God to worship him on earth. In the day of Elijah there were 7000 left. The gates of Hell will not prevail over those called out by God. The institutions these people create and their fellow travelers may indeed be laid waste. If God wouldn’t preserve the natural shoot, why would he preserve the shoot grafted in? The MOC that points to the size of the rcc makes a mockery of the possibility that in some ages only a remnant will be preserved.

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  91. The MOC are fundamentally circular. You have accept Rome’s interpretation of them, which requires first a submission to Rome’s authority. None of theme are self-interpreting, and they are all highly selective.

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  92. sdb says: . But the priesthood wasn’t fulfilled in a new order – check the epistle of Hebrews.

    Amen sdb. love that book.
    Hebrews 10
    9 then He (Jesus) said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.

    14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”He then says,17 “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

    19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…..

    And therefore…

    sdb says:The gates of Hell will not prevail over those called out by God.

    Amen sdb
    Jesus: false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, (meaning it is not even th eelect. Behold, I have told you in advance. Matt 24:24-25
    But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.Heb 10:39

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  93. Susan says The Reformed and the others who poke fun at you….

    Susan, I believe most here, together, do not believe/think it not biblical/the bible does not support [even cw 🙂 I think] that symbols actually confer sanctifying grace nor add grace to one’s account.

    All the grace we will ever need is received the moment we trust Jesus, by faith, as Savior and Lord.

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  94. cw l’unificateur says An underrated benefit of 2K is the wall between the Lord’s Day music and activities of those of the rest of the week.

    Though, again, always just to emphasize Susan, the “I think” of saying ‘even cw 🙂 I think’

    present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
    And do not be conformed to this world,
    but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
    so that you may prove what the will of God is,
    that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
    3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you
    not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think;
    but to think so as to have sound judgment,
    as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
    Romans 12:1-3

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  95. Hi Robert and sdb,

    Robert you said:
    “The MOC are fundamentally circular. You have accept Rome’s interpretation of them, which requires first a submission to Rome’s authority. None of theme are self-interpreting, and they are all highly selective.”

    I don’t see why it’s necessary to submit to the church’s authority to accept her interpretation per se of the scriptural typologies. To me, her interpretations are a motive of credibility that she does possess The Spirit of Truth as guide.
    Some of the OT passages that are typological are not clear to everyone and are missed by many bible students, but what I gave to Ali about OT types of priests being fulfilled in the New Covenant, is from Origen.
    I didn’t make it up, this was handed down to us.
    You can at least see why it would be excluded in Prostestant churches even if you have a skin in the game.
    So, I don’t see how the MOC are circular.

    Sdb,

    If course you are right about this continent being inhabited before Abraham was born. I was looking for a way to convey to Ali that Protestantism in new and her version is an infant in comparison to the Catholic( and EO, by the way) sacerdotal church.

    And, Hebrews doesn’t undermine the typology. If Origen can give us that, he surely didn’t miss a way( by the wisdom given of the Spirit) understand the letter to the Hebrews.
    The admonishment at the end of the epistle( 13:9,10), is all about the Eucharist, at the altar, through which we are strengthened by grace.

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  96. Susan,

    What I means is that the Motives of Credibility in themselves are not self-interpreting.

    Holiness—Who says that if there is a God that He must be holy and that if He founds a church it must be holy? Furthermore, who gets to determine what counts in evaluating whether the church is holy and whether it is unholy? The answer is the Roman Church.

    Miracles—Who says that things that appear out of the ordinary are actually divine interventions and point to the church? I had a discussion with Bryan Cross about the resurrection once. Even if you could prove scientifically that Jesus rose from the dead, that doesn’t prove at all that he is who he says he is unless you first accept the Apostolic interpretation of that event. A man who comes back to life, in itself, is proof only of something unusual.

    And on and on. You have to first buy into Rome’s assertion that there are motives of credibility and they mean what Rome says they mean and should be evaluated as Rome says they should be evaluated before they will be convincing.

    Its circular: Rome defines the motives of credibility which point to Rome.

    Circularity isn’t necessarily a bad thing; we all have to accept it ultimately in the case of God. God defines what is right and wrong and what is right and wrong point us to God. God is His own interpreter, as it were. The problem I have is with the motives of credibility somehow making Rome reasonable apart from accepting Rome’s interpretation of them. They are only convincing if you first accept Rome.

    In general, I would say that Roman Catholic Apologetics, for all the claims to the contrary, are probably more circular than any other Apologetics form. Its coming out in our discussion of Apostolic Succession. For RCs, Anglicans don’t have Apostolic Succession because the Anglicans don’t follow the Roman understanding of Apostolic Succession. It’s not because there’s some universal, objective definition of Apostolic Succession out there that is readily identifiable in the tradition and that everyone follows.

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  97. Susan,

    Protestantism in new and her version is an infant in comparison to the Catholic( and EO, by the way) sacerdotal church.

    But this is not true. Even if you accept the argument with regards to Baptists and Presbyterians, Anglicans have Apostolic Succession and sacerdotal ministry. So do Lutherans and Methodists to a lesser extent. Rome just doesn’t accept Protestants as having Apostolic Succession but they accept it for the East, who don’t understand it in the same way as Rome. As to why Anglicans don’t count, I’m still waiting for a coherent answer. It looks highly selective.

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  98. Susan The admonishment at the end of the epistle( 13:9,10), is all about the Eucharist, at the altar, through which we are strengthened by grace.

    if you get a chance, I think you may appreciate this teaching Susan -a lot quoted here, sorry, butthe whole thing here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1641/christian-ethics-pt-3-steadfastness-separation-and-sacrifice

    Have a good day.

    “What altar do we have? Well, some say this refers to the physical altar and that’s why in some churches you have an altar. But that can’t be the altar he’s talking about “of which they have no right to eat.” What kind of eating is done on that altar? Well, some have even said it’s the communion table. Well, how could you have a communion table that you couldn’t eat? That doesn’t make sense. In verse 11 he says – it talks about “the bodies of beasts whose blood is brought there.” That doesn’t sound, to me, like the church. No, in fact the evidence here is on not eating.”

    “Secondly, some people say it refers to a heavenly altar. Revelation 6 talks about a heavenly altar. And He’s saying we have an altar in heaven. Well, that doesn’t make any sense either. “Of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.” What has that have to do with the altar in heaven? There’s no eating going on there anyways. And what is this about the bodies of beasts? What beasts were ever burned on the altar in heaven? Others say – No, it refers to Christ. How could it refer to Christ? We have an altar of which they have no right to eat. Jesus said in John 6, you can’t even know God unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood.”

    “Now I’ll tell you what I think it is. And I think the weight of all the evidence is on this particular viewpoint. But I think He’s talking about the idea of separation here. A Christian’s obligation to God is to be separated from the world unto God, right? I think that’s what He’s getting at.”

    “Now watch this. We have an altar, He’s not talking about Christians necessarily; He’s talking about Jews. I think that’s the key, once you establish that the thing flows. We, Jews, have an altar. Remember that word altar we have—and there the altar includes the sacrifice and the ritual, we have an altar, people. You remember that thing? “Of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.” Who are the men who serve the tabernacle? The priests. Was there a certain sacrifice on a certain altar they couldn’t eat? Yes there was: it was the sin offering. On the Day of Atonement when the sin offering was made they could not eat it. All the other times when they made offerings, the priests ate what was left. The sin offering, once it was made and the blood was sprinkled on the holy of holies on the mercy seat, the animals were taken outside the camp and burned. That’s verse 11. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin are burned where? Outside the camp. He explains right there, I think, which altar it is. He says we have a particular altar sacrifice. We have a particular ritual, where you cannot partake. In fact, the remains of the sacrifice are taken outside the camp and burned.”

    “This, you know what it is? It’s an analogy. All He’s doing is giving them an analogy to teach them a principle. Here’s the principle. You people need to be separated from the system. You know, like those sin offerings that nobody could touch but they had to be taken outside the camp? You need to be so separated from the camp of the world. That’s essentially what He’s getting at. He’s simply drawing a little analogy—you can’t push it very far. He’s saying like the animals in the sin offering were taken outside, the believer needs to be removed from sinful man. Removed from the system, removed from the world and come apart.”

    “Now he takes it a step further in verse 12 by identifying Jesus Christ. And incidentally, the people didn’t want any part of a sin offering anyway. They didn’t want to partake of that. Verse 12 says, “Wherefore, Jesus also that He might sanctify the people with His own blood suffered outside the gate.” Jesus was separate from the system, wasn’t He? In the Old Testament the Jews took those bodies of those sin offerings, both the priests and the peoples’ offering, and they took them outside the camp. They didn’t want a thing to do with those sin offerings. They separated them from themselves. Jesus did the same thing. The system didn’t want Jesus either, they threw Him out. He suffered outside the gate. And He sanctified the people, with His own blood.”

    “Now as the carcasses then were burned outside the camp of Israel so Jesus was killed outside the city of Jerusalem. He was killed outside the wall of Jerusalem and perfectly fulfilled the picture of the Old Testament. You know those old sin offerings were the pictures of Christ, weren’t they? So when He came He suffered outside as the offering had been taken outside. Now I don’t want to belabor the point anymore than that. Both were rejected, the sin offering, rejected. They didn’t want to eat it, put it out. Jesus – rejected, put it out. And they wanted no part of either.”

    “And so He brings the point down to verse 13, “Let us go therefore unto Him outside the camp bearing His reproach, for we have no continuing city but we seek one that comes.” Let’s us separate from the system as well. We Jews have an altar then, and in it there’s a sacrifice which nobody can eat. The bodies are rejected, taken out of the city and burned. Jesus, the true sin offering, also was rejected by the system though for a different reason. He’s not pushing the analogy; he’s simply saying this is like Jesus who was also suffering outside the city.”

    “And of course, there are many differences, you can’t push it as I said because the animal was killed already before it was taken out, Christ died outside. And Jesus was so willing to go, He was willing that He might sanctify the people with His own blood. He was despised, He was rejected, He was hated, He was unwanted, betrayed, arrested, mocked, beaten, killed like a common criminal and He accepted every bit of it to shed His blood on the behalf of men. The Bible says right here in the book of Hebrews without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Jesus knew that and He shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin. The Old Testament sacrifice was a shame to the people and they put it out. Jesus was ashamed and they put Him out although they didn’t know that He was the true sin offering. They had no thought for that.”

    “And the practical point is this, people, you and I must be willing to go out from the system and to bear the reproach and the shame that both the sin offering and Christ Himself bore to be rejected by men. Moses did it, chapter 11 verse 26; “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” Moses considered the stigma that rests on God’s anointed greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt. And so the writer of Hebrews is saying to us in 13:13 that you ought to consider the stigma, the reproach of Christ greater than the treasures of the system—move out. That’s all He’s saying. So I see a very clean break between verses 9 and 10. He simply says we have a sacrifice in which the feature is separation. Christ was separated from men, you be separated as well.”

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  99. Ali,

    I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the Presbyterians and other Reformed view the Lord’s table as more than symbolic and more than a commemoration. It is more than a symbol because something is actually taking place at the altar and the table of communion. It is both an altar and a table. Jesus said to take and eat ,as the bread and wine are his body and blood, that not will be, but IS ( at that moment)poured out for the remission of sins. Since he hadn’t yet died on the cross, He is offering himself as sacrifice on the feast of Passover, replacing then and there the OT sacrifices and initiating the New Covenant.
    So the Lord’s table is an altar.
    But the biggest thing to keep in mind is this is how the Church has always believed and taught. There has never been an interruption in fulfillment of Malachi 1:1.

    But I will leave you to argue with the Reformed about what the Lord’s supper means.
    Have a good weekend.

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  100. Darryl,

    “have you read the Bible?”

    What in the world – because I assert God made promises to the church he didn’t make to America or Britain or other ordained authorities, that means I don’t read the Bible?

    “Heck, if the church had embraced Arianism, you’d have no way of saying that was wrong.”

    The ones who opposed Arianism had a way to say it was wrong during that crisis. And no, it wasn’t SS. The Bible (which I don’t read) warns of false teachers and to be wary of them. Those warnings are compatible with RCC claims.

    “I know, Notre Dame isn’t the church.”

    Ding. Not sure why this is so difficult. If there was some OPC-affiliated school out there that had some pro-choice politician give a talk, would everyone in the OPC freak out and leave because the OPC just apostasized? Come on. And of course you make distinctions even with ministers in your church – is Swanson the OPC?

    Robert,

    “The MOC are fundamentally circular. You have accept Rome’s interpretation of them, which requires first a submission to Rome’s authority. None of theme are self-interpreting, and they are all highly selective.”

    You were already corrected on this by Bryan, Joshua, and Ray in the thread starting at http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2013/11/lawrence-feingold-the-motives-of-credibility-for-faith/#comment-147179 onwards.

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  101. Susan, “I’m pretty sure that the Presbyterians and other Reformed view the Lord’s table as more than symbolic and more than a commemoration.”

    Finally.

    Hooray!

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  102. James Young, “Not sure why this is so difficult. If there was some OPC-affiliated school out there that had some pro-choice politician give a talk, would everyone in the OPC freak out and leave because the OPC just apostasized?”

    An OPC-affiliated school would receive some kind of correction. What does Notre Dame get? Shrugs.

    That’s now what Boniface recommends:

    Pius X was not content to simply speak the truth; he put his convictions into practice by taking positive action against Modernism. Pascendi decrees that Modernists be deposed from teaching positions. If they are clerics, their bishops are to place them in the most obscure of offices where they can cause little trouble. Their books are to be censured. The Oath Against Modernism is instituted. Anti-Modernists are promoted while it is made known that no Modernist has any future possibility of promotion (if only that had remained true!). SO vigorous was his assault that the Modernists and progressives complained about his heavy hand.

    In short, Pius X never thought merely stating the truth was sufficient; he needed to use the power at his disposal to see it pushed through.

    What could conservative bishops do, or have done, that they have not?

    Vigorously punish heresy in their own dioceses. Keep strict watch on the activities of certain priests and suspend, dismiss or defrock those who clearly dissent from Church teaching.

    Preach the truth boldly, including explicit condemnations of particular groups or ideologies, even condemning heterodox teachers or priests by name when necessary. Go beyond the typical non-offensive, wishy-washy bishop-speak.

    Use the resources of a diocese to publish actual informative and instructional materials, not the sort of nonsense most dioceses put out.

    Actually issue liturgical directives to promote tradition. The contemporary Church documents offer considerable leeway in how liturgy can be done; the upside of this is that the bishop is given the final call on all of these options. A bishop could easily say, “No guitars and drums at any diocesan Mass”, or mandate sacred chant, or compel every parish to offer at least a monthly Traditional Latin Mass. Novus Ordo Masses must at least incorporate Latin and be said ad orientam.

    Dismiss lay persons or members of subversive religious orders from their diocesan committees.

    Actually use the tool of excommunication against dissident theologians and dissenting Catholic politicians.

    Use resources of the diocese for meaningful ( I stress meaningful) social activism. Example: One priest told me there used to be a scummy motel near his parish that was frequented by prostitutes. He raised some money, bought the motel, and had it torn down. What if the millions raised by our diocesan appeals were used for such uses?

    Organize at the regional level and use their weight to push through appointments within the USCCB or elsewhere that were favorable to them while simultaneously using their influence to keep out liberal appointments.

    Host guest-speakers friendly to tradition and forbid those who are not.

    Forbid Catholic schools and hospitals from engaging in activities harmful to the Catholic faith and actually back up these directives with the appropriate force.

    Fire all Catholic school teachers who are in immoral relationships.

    Actually celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and require all seminarians to know it and be comfortable with Latin.

    Publicly censure books and films hostile or dangerous to the Catholic faith.

    Mandate traditional arrangements in the architecture of sanctuaries and churches; stipulate that no parish has the right to undertake any renovations unless personally approved by him.

    Promote priests who cooperate with this agenda and punish those who don’t.

    In short, never, never miss an opportunity to promote tradition and actively punish and repress liberalism. Speak the truth boldly but also use the weight of the office to silence, retard, dismiss or dispirit the liberal opposition.

    And you guys are cut from the same cloth. pshcloth.

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  103. Cletus,

    You were already corrected on this by Bryan, Joshua, and Ray in the thread starting at

    No I wasn’t. There was a lot of smoke blowing but no answer to the point being made. Resurrection proves nothing apart from faith in the Apostolic witness. If there bare fact (as if there is such a thing) of the resurrection or any other miracle were enough, there would be no need of church, Scripture, or anything else.

    The MOC are circular, viciously so in fact.

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  104. Darryl,

    “An OPC-affiliated school would receive some kind of correction”

    Really? So atheists or non-Calvinist Christians cannot talk at an OPC-affiliated institution?
    Swanson hasn’t received a correction – and he’s a minister in the church, not some commencement speaker at a school – so does the OPC approve and want to kill homosexuals?

    Yep, Boniface’s list is what I alluded to earlier. Note nothing in his list said “create your own church or leave for a sede or EO church since the RCC is liberal”. As I said, he’s not doing you any favors.

    Robert,

    If there’s no such thing as “bare facts” and all evidence/facts are “meaningless without interpretation”, then everything is “fundamentally circular”, not just the MOC. This is why you land in presuppositionalism, which was pointed out to you by your 3 interlocutors in the thread.

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  105. Cletus,

    If the world is created by God, there can be no “bare fact.” Every fact is what it is by virtue of its placement there by the Creator and His interpretation of it.

    But as for circularity, there is a difference between broad circularity and narrow circularity. The presuppostiionalists are exactly right that one’s ultimate authority must be self-authenticating or it isn’t the ultimate authority and that any reasons one uses to appeal to it will rest on broad circularity. Meanwhile the MOC are trotted out as if they are self-evident. They’re not, otherwise Rome wouldn’t have to tell us how to define holiness and what it means, what a miracle is and why it qualifies as a MOC, etc., etc.

    Bryan Cross, for what it is worth, is probably the most viciously circular thinker I have ever encountered. Its a strong tendency in Roman apologists. Dig through the arguments and it amounts to “Rome is the church Christ founded because Rome is the church Christ founded.”

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  106. Susan says: Ali,I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the Presbyterians and other Reformed view the Lord’s table as more than symbolic and more than a commemoration. .. Have a good weekend.

    Again, happy weekend to you too Susan. Probably shouldn’t be left unsaid that I don’t think I said the Lord’s Supper is just symbol , did I? Jesus is always with us; always with us in a special way; and somehow in a special way when two or more are gathered in His name; and in a special way (spiritually) in communion. That to say, too, His one sacrifice was sufficient – no repeated sacrifice of any kind is necessary – and for that we remember and eucharisteo – give Him thanks -and draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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  107. James Young, so far Swanson hasn’t violated the standards — have you read the Bible on homosexuality?

    Once again your defense is to blame Protestants. Pretty low bar in your world of certainty.

    But we didn’t start a new church. Even your bishops at Vatican II said so.

    You really are a mess these days.

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  108. Robert,

    “Meanwhile the MOC are trotted out as if they are self-evident. They’re not”

    Nothing is a bare fact according to you. So nothing is self-evident.
    Further, anything that isn’t self-evident (or “self-interpreting”) entails it is circular by your lights. So pretty much everything is circular for you, not just the MOC.

    Darryl,

    So the OPC wants to kill homosexuals and reinstitute the Mosaic law on civil society. Are westboro representatives or christian reconstructionists speaking at any OPC-affiliated organizations this year?

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  109. @Susan

    If Origen can give us that, he surely didn’t miss a way( by the wisdom given of the Spirit) understand the letter to the Hebrews.

    Origen was a heretic who was wrong about the pre-existence of human souls and the reconciliation of Satan (among other things). He was right about a lot of other things too and may have been a swell guy — he was right about the whole visible/invisible church distinction though probably slightly overstated the relative unimportance of the external organization. Then again, who knows how his views on this evolved through this life. But whatever the case, I would not conclude that “he surely didn’t miss a way to understand the letter to the Hebrews”

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  110. @cvd advocating stupid political positions is not a violation of ordination standards. Certainly not on par with a bishop covering for a serial child rapist by shipping him to oversee an orphanage in South America.

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  111. Cletus,

    So pretty much everything is circular for you, not just the MOC.

    Arguments for an ultimate authority will always be circular. The difference is whether they are broadly circular or narrowly circular. If the MOCs were self-evident and self-interpreting, there would be no need for Rome to identify them or tell us what they mean.

    Apart from accepting an interpretation of the empty tomb, all the empty tomb is is an unusual occurrence. Apart from accepting Rome’s understanding of what an enduring institution signifies, it is just an unusual occurrence that the papacy is so old. Nothing self-evidently supernatural about it.

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  112. Robert,

    We’re not talking about just “ultimate authorities”. Facts/evidence are not “self-interpreting” according to you – so they’re not “bare” or “self-evident” – they are “meaningless without interpretation”. So any “truth” or “fact” – be it theological or not – one holds to is circular in your view. Welcome to presuppositionalism and fideism.

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  113. Cletus,

    A fact is meaningless without interpretation. If it weren’t, there is no need for teachers, the church, anything. I can’t know what the resurrection means unless someone tells me. I can’t know that a body coming back to life is a supernatural event unless someone tells me and explains the significance of it. Facts have meaning only within a broader system. They aren’t isolated bits of self-interpreting understanding.

    An empty tomb with a resurrected body proves nothing in itself. Present that to atheists all day long, and they’ll find a way to explain it by naturalistic means. It only proves Christianity if you first accept the presupposition of a supernatural reality and then only if you accept a particular person’s interpretation of it.

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  114. James Young, what would be so bad about westboro baptist folks speaking at an OPC church? By the gold standard of Roman Catholicism, the church always has dissidents and heretics? Or are you saying that Protestants are really superior to Roman Catholics because we actually try to follow our faith?

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  115. James Young, “Welcome to presuppositionalism and fideism.”

    While you’re saying hello yourself to presupp and fideism, you also need to wrap your arms around fatalism. Doesn’t matter what the church does, it wins.

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  116. James Young, Haven’t you heard, the reform of the church is in your hands and all you do is shrug?

    “Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the bishops. It’s up to you, the laity, to remind our priests to be priests and our bishops to be bishops.”
    – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
    Archbishop Sheen was right, as usual. Our pastors cannot lead us out of the current crisis in the Catholic Church, because they, as a group, do not recognize the nature of the crisis. In fact, despite the abundant evidence all around us, they are not prepared to admit that there is a crisis. They do not see the problem, because they are the problem.

    The crisis is—let’s speak plainly—a crisis of clerical corruption. Our priests and especially our bishops have failed as Church leaders, because they adopted the wrong standards of leadership. They are using the wrong yardsticks to measure success and failure. And this clerical system tends to perpetuate itself: bishops train and promote priests who adopt the same skewed standards.

    (It should be obvious, I hope, that I am making sweeping generalizations. There are many exemplary priests, and some of them become fine bishops. But the most energetic and evangelical clerics, I would argue, rise to leadership despite a system that rewards timidity and complacency. Individual priests may be holy men, but the clerical system is corrupt. By that I mean that while there are both good men and bad men in the system—as in any human institution—the good men are unable to establish control and institute reform.) . . .

    If reform from within the clerical ranks is improbable, what hope do we have? The hope that Archbishop Sheen offered us: the realization that the future of the Church is in our hands, that the laity must come to the rescue. Earlier this week Jeff Mirus explained how lay people and lay movements have responded to the crisis:

    The point is that the crisis of faith experienced by bishops and priests, which made life so difficult for lay people who really care, actually led to an astonishing contribution to Catholic renewal precisely by the laity themselves.

    Archbishop Sheen predicted that the laity would save the Church. Jeff Mirus reports that the laity are saving the Church. The reform has already begun.

    This does not mean “the fight is o’er, the battle won.” On the contrary, the struggle is only beginning. But loyal lay Catholics, formed in the crucible, have emerged with a stronger faith, a deeper commitment; they will not be satisfied with timid leaders. We will “remind our priests to be priests and our bishops to be bishops.” In the long run, the young bishops and younger priests will be our own sons and grandsons. And you can count on this: they will “get it.”

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  117. Robert,

    “A fact is meaningless without interpretation.”

    So all facts must be interpreted, including the fact that all facts are meaningless without interpretation. So everything under the sun is circular by your lights, not just MOC. So you shouldn’t complain the MOC are circular – everything is circular for you.

    1. The US has an office of president correct?
    2. There is evidence to support 1, yes?
    3. Is this evidence self-interpreting and self-evident?
    4. If no to 3, is the evidence supporting 1 circular?

    “Present that to atheists all day long, and they’ll find a way to explain it by naturalistic means”

    That does not mean their explanation is reasonable. Not all explanations are equally plausible or reasonable. You’re arguing the apostles could not have argued the way they did in fact argue. Which was pointed out to you in the ctc thread.

    Darryl,

    “what would be so bad about westboro baptist folks speaking at an OPC church?”

    Right, because a WBC dude speaks at your church, would everyone in your church then assume WBC is representative of OPC and the bees knees and start emulating them? Is your church emulating Swanson? No. Nor should you just because a guy speaks at your church or gives a commencement at some OPC-affiliated school.

    “Doesn’t matter what the church does, it wins.”

    You agree the church wins despite the sin within its ranks.

    “the reform of the church is in your hands and all you do is shrug?”

    Sure, the laity play a role – that’s not new – see the Nestorian and Arian controversies for starters. The laity playing a role and not shrugging is compatible with Rome’s claims. Boniface still affirms Rome’s claims. But, since you characterized this from an RC: “I would therefore recommend to any Catholics who are in turmoil because the present pope isn’t to their liking or their church is not what they want or their bishop unsatisfactory to read some church history. Eamonn Duffy’s history of the papacy Saints and Sinners is a good one. When you read history of the church you’ll realize that turmoil and trouble have been with us since the time of the apostles. Might as well get used to it.
    Does that mean you shouldn’t be upset or worried? No. Does that mean one should be complacent about heresy, corruption within and persecution from without? No. Be worried. That’s okay if it leads you to pray more.”
    as shrugging, no wonder you might think otherwise.

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  118. James Young, L.L. Bean has better customer service than Roman Catholicism. They guarantee their merchandise. Rome claims infallibility for the pope and then steps back from any other responsibility.

    Except — Rome used to.

    You keep saying that it’s always been this way. Piux IX, X, XI, and XII prove otherwise.

    Boniface actually says it wasn’t always this way. And history also shows that popes corrected error.

    So you are wrong and actually deceitful. Or you are in serious denial and certain about it.

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  119. Cletus,

    So all facts must be interpreted, including the fact that all facts are meaningless without interpretation. So everything under the sun is circular by your lights, not just MOC. So you shouldn’t complain the MOC are circular – everything is circular for you.

    1. Can you give me a fact that doesn’t need interpretation?

    2. Again, we’re talking about ultimate matters of epistemology here, so a broad circle that says facts are meaningless in themselves apart from a larger interpretative framework is sound.

    3. The MOC could be circular in an acceptable way, broadly speaking. But they really aren’t presented that way. First Rome makes the claim, then she presents and defines the motives of credibility and what you are supposed to believe about them (she gives an interpretation), and then you see they are reasonable, and then you believe. So Rome becomes your ultimate epistemological standard. The MOC are plausible only if you accept Rome is what Rome says she is.

    4. And Rome is viciously circular in part because of its selectivity. Ignore the unholiness of the church and consider only the Rome-defined holiness. Meanwhile Scripture and Protestants don’t tell you to ignore the warts.

    That does not mean their explanation is reasonable. Not all explanations are equally plausible or reasonable.

    Of course.

    You’re arguing the apostles could not have argued the way they did in fact argue. Which was pointed out to you in the ctc thread.

    No I’m not. The resurrection explanation does not become plausible until the Apostles give it by divine revelation/authority. Without the explanation, the empty tomb is meaningless. It is just an unusual occurrence.

    The Apostles don’t argue for the resurrection by giving the standard apologetic proofs for the historicity of the empty tomb and resurrection (which do have their place). They simply proclaim that Jesus was raised from the dead and expect their hearers to believe them. The accounts of the empty tomb and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus convince only those who first accept the reality of the supernatural and that the Apostles are not liars. If you do not accept that, the resurrection is just unusual, or a fraud, or something else.

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  120. Now Roman Catholics take cues from Protestants about church discipline:

    “I am not a Roman Catholic, let alone a canon lawyer,” writes First Things contributor Carl Trueman, “but I am reliably informed that the bishop of the diocese to which [Vice President Joseph Biden] belongs does have certain powers in regard [to Biden’s brazen officiating at a ‘same-sex wedding’].” Well, I am a Roman Catholic, and I am a canon lawyer, and I can reliably inform others that the bishops of the dioceses to which Biden belongs do indeed have certain powers in this regard. In my view, moreover, it’s time for bishops to use those powers. Gracious, even some Protestants think it’s time!

    How the audacious become even more audacious.

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  121. Robert,

    “The MOC are plausible only if you accept Rome is what Rome says she is.”

    Is the evidence for Obama being president plausible only if I accept Obama is what Obama says he is? Forget “ultimate authorities” – you characterized any fact/evidence that isn’t self-evident as circular, not just ones pertaining to “ultimate authorities”.

    “If you do not accept that, the resurrection is just unusual, or a fraud, or something else.”

    Yes, and as you agree, not all those explanations are reasonable or plausible. The Apostles weren’t arguing in circles.

    Darryl,

    What would you like me to acknowledge you feel I haven’t which would demonstrate to you that I am not deceitful or in denial?

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  122. We had discussions with Bryan about circularity. Let’s make things clear.

    There is a set of facts (MOC) presented as evidence that the Catholic church is what it says. For sake of example, we can take Jesus’ pronouncement “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”

    No circularity yet.

    Now, the Catholic points to the “fact” that the early Church understood this to mean that the church is founded upon Peter.

    But on further investigation, it turns out that there were several understandings in the early church of this statement. We only arrive at “consensus” by selecting certain early church voices as authoritative, while discarding others as non-authoritative.

    But when we ask what criterion is used for selection, it turns out that the authoritative voices are those who interpret Matt 16 in favor of RC claims.

    So to arrive at the RC interpretation of the MOC, we must first choose which early church interpretation (of many) is authoritative; but the RC puts forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views.

    Hence, circularity. It’s not that the facts are circular, but that the method of interpreting those facts is circular.

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  123. James Young, it might help if you acknowledged the quite lame RC apologetic in which you engage here. You think you have great advantages over Protestants because you have papal infallibility. But then when it comes to someone trying to find the truth at a Roman Catholic retail outlet, don’t hold your breath.

    Even Rod sees the problems that you don’t:

    But no church — not mine, not yours — can afford to be laissez-faire about church discipline.

    Rod hasn’t had to endure your lame defensive shrugs.

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  124. Darryl,

    What would you like me to acknowledge that you feel I haven’t to demonstrate I am not deceitful and in denial? That RCism is not superior to Protestantism? Boniface is apparently your exemplar for an honest RC to be emulated, but Boniface argues RCism is superior to Protestantism – one reason of which is due to its infallibility as I already showed above https://oldlife.org/2016/08/09/confused-but-not-dazed/#comment-145450. So it can’t be that. What is it?

    Like

  125. Jeff Cagle:
    So to arrive at the RC interpretation of the MOC, we must first choose which early church interpretation (of many) is authoritative; but the RC puts forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views.>>>>>

    What you do is rewrite Church history and theology to favor your particular brand of “protestantism.” Your brand was born in the United States within the last century after Presbyterianism began to break up and splinter into numerous groups.

    You like St. Augustine, except for these facts. He was a bishop in the Catholic Church. He was a priest. He held to Marian doctrines that you reject, such as Many’s sinlessness and exalted position.

    You try to enlist the help of Athanasius for your view of the canon of Scripture – that it is not closed, but you are pretty sure you have the right list of books. Consider these facts. He considered Baruch to be inspired Scripture and said clearly that the Deuterocanonical books are not apocryphal – as in false books written by heretics.

    He was also a priest and a bishop.

    You side with the iconoclasts, which was a heretical movement.

    You seem to side with the heretics rather than with the line of orthodoxy that can be traced back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

    Your group is a subset of a subset of a subset of the Reformation.

    I would encourage you to study out the history of the papacy, the history of the priesthood in Christianity, the History of the Eucharist, the history of Marian theology, the history of the Biblical canon – which you bungle very badly – the history of the Mass, and so many other Christian doctrines that you seem to have trouble with.

    Catholicism is the default mode of Christianity, at least in the West. In the East, it is Orthodoxy. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Catholic. Same religion.

    What the Reformation did was change the focus of “protestants” from “charity” – faith working through love as the Apostle Paul taught – to “faith”, and that faith standing alone without charity even being necessary for salvation.

    How did you get “faith alone”? Martin Luther decided that it had to be put into his Bible translation because of his own authority to do so.

    When asked why he added the word “alone” he said that he knew very well it wasn’t into the Greek text. Why did he do it, then?

    “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so…” All protestants fell in line, and still fall in line. But they did not stick together and still do not stick together. You can’t build a religion on a word added to the text of Scripture.

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  126. James Young, dodge. If popes and bishops could discipline the AF in France, why not Joe Biden?

    And if I have no guarantee of finding a faithful priest, why should I switch?

    I know, catch James Young if you can. There’s a reason Jesuitical is a word.

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  127. Mermaid, “What you do is rewrite Church history and theology to favor your particular brand of “protestantism.” Your brand was born in the United States within the last century after Presbyterianism began to break up and splinter into numerous groups.”

    Breathtaking.

    See the mote in your own soggy eye.

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  128. Darryl,

    So you would like me to acknowledge Rome doesn’t discipline its flock as it did in the past? That its leadership can be neglectful and lax? I’ve already acknowledged that but if it was unclear, I acknowledge it again now. That doesn’t impact or undermine the argument that RCism is superior to Protestantism in part because of infallibility, as your exemplar Boniface acknowledges discipline is lax while making the same argument of superiority. So Is there anything else you feel I need to acknowledge?

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  129. James Young, still didn’t see the point, all caught up in your MOC which hurts the dodging and weaving. If I have no guarantee that the local priest is orthodox, if I hear from all sorts of folks that the culture of the episcopacy is corrupt, and if I hear from you the church has always been lax, sinful, and diverse, how the hades are you certain of infallibility? Maybe the bad people articulated it.

    Also, how are you better off than a Protestant. A Protestant has an infallible Bible. You have an infallible (twice) pontiff. So what’s the difference?

    Let me help you. It’s that you’ve got Denzinger on your shelf and your judging RC history and statements the way that any Protestant evaluates confessions and sermons. But you act like you live in a pay-pray-obey universe and Protestants are rank individualists.

    So just admit how hopelessly inconsistent you are. And then answer, for what? How does your account of Roman Catholicism get you to heaven when you know you’re going to spend time in Purgatory unless you die in mortal sin.

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  130. Darryl,

    Again, what would you like me to acknowledge that you feel I haven’t to demonstrate I am not deceitful and in denial? That RCism is not superior to Protestantism? Boniface is apparently your exemplar for an honest RC to be emulated, but Boniface argues RCism is superior to Protestantism – one reason of which is due to its infallibility as I already showed above https://oldlife.org/2016/08/09/confused-but-not-dazed/#comment-145450. So it can’t be that. What is it?

    Or is it now that you want me to acknowledge Rome doesn’t teach it’s infallibility? But that would seem deceitful and in denial, since you (and the entire Protestant tradition for 500 years) also acknowledge Rome teaches it is infallible. So it must be something else.

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  131. James Young, Yes it is something else. Boniface is candid. You are not. You hide behind him, Bryan Cross, history.

    Just say woe is me like the rest of us do and you’ll be fine.

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  132. Mermaid,

    As previously explained, I’m not interested in a subtle distinction between “non-canonical” and “apocryphal.” If Athanasius’ declaration that the Deuteros were non-canonical but non-apocryphal is significant to you, then you are welcome to make that observation. It’s irrelevant.

    The point is that the books Athanasius and Jerome thought canonical or non-canonical are the ones that the Reformers thought canonical or non-canonical.

    They agreed on the canon. Not the apocrypha, the canon.

    You’re seeming desperate these days. Time to throw in the towel?

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  133. mrswebfoot says: What the Reformation did was change the focus of “protestants to “faith”, and that faith standing alone without charity even being necessary for salvation. How did you get “faith alone”?

    mrswebfoot, As you were taught and already know from the testimony of the Bible, “salvation is by faith alone, but faith will never be alone” but will be demonstrated and proven genuine by its good fruit because a good tree produces good fruit.

    -Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Answer: No (not possible). (Gal 3:3)
    -Where then is boasting by this law of faith? Answer: Nowhere (not applicable/appropriate). (Rom 3:27)

    Liked by 1 person

  134. Jeff,

    So to arrive at the RC interpretation of the MOC, we must first choose which early church interpretation (of many) is authoritative; but the RC puts forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views.

    Hence, circularity. It’s not that the facts are circular, but that the method of interpreting those facts is circular.

    Ding, ding, ding.

    For the MOC to point to Rome you have to first accept Rome’s interpretation of them. And when you look at least at Bryan’s defense and advocacy of them, you basically ignore all of the evidence that points otherwise.

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  135. Mermaid,

    When asked why he added the word “alone” he said that he knew very well it wasn’t into the Greek text. Why did he do it, then?

    Roman Catholic Commentator and probably one of the best NT scholars of the past 100 years from any tradition, in his commentary on Romans for the Anchor Bible Commentary, notes that Thomas Aquinas also added the word “alone.” So what Luther did was not unprecedented.

    Liked by 1 person

  136. Mermaid,

    Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Catholic. Same religion.

    If you are speaking of Christianity in the broad sense, then sure. But if you can say this, then you should be able to say that all Protestants that agree on a set number of doctrines are the same religion because the disagreements between Protestants are as significant as those between the East and Rome. But of course, Roman apologists won’t do that. They also won’t recognize the claims to Apostolic succession in Anglicanism. Some might suggest that the Reformation was just simply so embarrassing for Rome that to grant at least some forms of Protestantism the same status as it grants the East would be too much. Roman pride again.

    What the Reformation did was change the focus of “protestants” from “charity” – faith working through love as the Apostle Paul taught – to “faith”, and that faith standing alone without charity even being necessary for salvation.

    This is simply wrong. Protestants agree that charity is necessary for salvation, the question is how it is necessary. It seems to me that for Rome, the necessity is in regard to the basis of salvation. The degree to which you love God is finally the meritorious basis for getting into the kingdom. For Protestants, it is only the merit of Christ that avails. Faith is necessary as a consequence, but whether we are finally saved or not does not depend on the strength of our love for Christ. Have only a little faith and a little love, and you go right to heaven. (Have a little faith and a little love in Romanism, and you get some suffering in purgatory for a few million years or so, give or take, right?) That’s because for Protestants, salvation is guaranteed by the strength of the Savior, not the strength of the love and faith of the individual. The same Christ is given to a person whether he is weak in faith and love or strong in those virtues. Doesn’t really seem to work out that way for Roman Catholicism.

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  137. Robert,

    “For the MOC to point to Rome you have to first accept Rome’s interpretation of them. ”

    Jews interpret the OT differently than Christ and the Apostles. Was Christ and the Apostle’s method of interpretation of the OT evidence for their claims circular given they put forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views?

    For the evidence to point to Obama being president, do I have to first accept Obama’s interpretation of that evidence?

    “So what Luther did was not unprecedented.”

    Benedict also used the term faith alone. What Luther meant by the term was not what Aquinas or Benedict meant – that meaning is what is argued is unprecedented or as McGrath noted “A fundamental discontinuity was introduced into the western theological tradition where none had ever existed, or ever been contemplated, before. The Reformation understanding of the nature of justification ­ as opposed to its mode ­ must therefore be regarded as a genuine theological novum.”

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  138. James Young, “Was Christ and the Apostle’s method of interpretation of the OT evidence for their claims circular given they put forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views?”

    See how the magisterium is like Christ and the apostles.

    Special revelation hasn’t ceased. That makes Pope Francis really special.

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  139. James,

    Jews interpret the OT differently than Christ and the Apostles. Was Christ and the Apostle’s method of interpretation of the OT evidence for their claims circular given they put forward as authoritative those interpretations that support their views?

    Actually, if you look at the claims of Jesus, He first commanded people to follow Him. MOC came later and even then, they are only plausible if you first accept Christ’s authority. Their interpretation of the evidence isn’t always self-evident.

    For the evidence to point to Obama being president, do I have to first accept Obama’s interpretation of that evidence?

    ??? You have to first accept that the Constitution has authority over the American political system and therefore whatever conforms to its rules determines what is president. Otherwise, you can believe whatever you want. But you don’t grant that Obama is president of the United States without first accepting that the Constitution determines how the president is elected. If you don’t accept that, then anybody could be president.

    Benedict also used the term faith alone. What Luther meant by the term was not what Aquinas or Benedict meant – that meaning is what is argued is unprecedented or as McGrath noted “A fundamental discontinuity was introduced into the western theological tradition where none had ever existed, or ever been contemplated, before. The Reformation understanding of the nature of justification ­ as opposed to its mode ­ must therefore be regarded as a genuine theological ovum.”

    The point was that Luther invented the word “alone,” from Mermaid. Which is plainly not true. Whether what Luther did was new or not is up for debate. McGrath has been criticized for that statement, among others. And in any case, McGrath is a Protestant who would affirm that Luther is correct, so the statement has to be qualified. If, indeed, it is what Paul taught, it wasn’t a “genuine theological ovum.” The first century church believed it.

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  140. Robert,

    Did Christ and the Apostles use circular reasoning to justify their claims? Since you argue “The MOC are fundamentally circular. You have accept Rome’s interpretation of them, which requires first a submission to Rome’s authority. None of theme are self-interpreting, and they are all highly selective.”
    and now argue “He first commanded people to follow Him. MOC came later and even then, they are only plausible if you first accept Christ’s authority. Their interpretation of the evidence isn’t always self-evident.”
    you apparently hold that the evidence for Christ and the Apostles claims and their method of interpretation of the OT evidence was fundamentally circular. So as Jeff counsels, it follows that if one believes that Christianity is incoherent because of the circular reasoning used to justify its claims, then one should leave Christianity.

    So I don’t have to accept Obama’s interpretation of the evidence for the evidence to point to Obama being president. So I don’t have to engage in circular reasoning to conclude Obama is president. Even if such evidence is not “self-interpreting” which apparently is your threshold for circularity. Glad we agree.

    “Otherwise, you can believe whatever you want.”

    Yes, and “whatever anyone wants” to believe regarding who is president is not equally plausible or reasonable as the fact that Obama is president. The explanation for you or me being president of the US is not reasonable or plausible – not all arguments and interpretations (indeed even rejections) of evidence are created equal. Glad we agree.

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  141. The comparison between Jesus’ teachings and the RCC’s is spurious.

    Jesus stood upon his entire record of teaching and miracles and courageously invited the Pharisees to fond fault.

    Likewise, Jesus appealed to the entire Law and the Prophets as speaking of Him, and invited the Pharisees to show which Law that He has broken.

    He made risky claims that could be falsified.

    By contrast, the RCC appeals to church history, but only portions that support its claims; it claims infallible authoritative teaching, but cannot infallibly tell you what those teachings are.

    Criticism is not invited, but deflected by charges of “you are your own pope” or “you are a Pelgian / you don’t believe in the Holy Spirit.”

    Obviously contradictions are muddied by interminable arguments over irrelevancies — the latest being whether Athanasius thought the deuterocanonicals were apocrypha — and requests for clear argument are ignored or responded to with thirty rhetorical questions.

    There are no risky claims made, no points where the Catholic apologist simply says “here’s the argument; let’s clarify and engage.”

    The nadir, by the way, was when Cross flatly stated here that he would not lay out his argument clearly because we were only interested in refuting it.

    So what’s going on, Cletus? You are not dishonest in the sense of telling blatant falsehoods. But you do seem skittish about engaging forthrightly by responding directly to questions. You also seem shy about admitting to facts or points that are hard for your position.

    And all sides here have hard facts. It’s hard for Protestants to explain how, if sola scriptura is God’s intent, that God has let the Church and especially the Protestant side fragment.

    That’s a legitimate difficulty.

    It’s hard for Catholics to explain how, if Catholicism provides epistemological advantage, that believing sinceres Catholics have as much diversity of opinion as believing sincere Protestants.

    So the real question is, where does the discussion go from here?

    Liked by 1 person

  142. Dazed AND confused is more like it these days:

    Now comes a report from the UK Times that the group of liberal cardinals who agitated for Cardinal Bergoglio to become pope are now convinced that he is leading the Church towards schism and he ought to step down. It is worth registering with the UK Times website for free to read the whole article.

    Now, I understand and agree that is a serious wrong to force or foment that the pope resign. I also think it is highly unlikely that Pope Francis would resign. Nor am I calling for and suggesting that he should resign.

    What I am saying is there is serious discord in the Church, Pope Francis is inexplicably refusing to resolve it, and his (in)actions are causing a crisis.

    Whatever your view of this papacy—positive, neutral or negative—it should be obvious to all that something is wrong in Rome. Dysfunctional is the word that comes to mind.

    Like

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